The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on same-sex marriage
11:25 PM, Mar 25, 2013
Maya and Devi have only known their mommy and mama. They haven't grown up with a father, and for that, they have learned to deal with rejection at an early age.
"The part that has been painful and difficult is other families and what other families teach their children about who we are in the world," said Gita Deane, who supports gay rights.
Who they are is a committed couple. Lisa and Gita met at Trinity College and have been together ever since. That's 32 years.
Yet, they weren't open about their relationship until they had children. Since then, they have been advocates of equal rights.
"Lisa is a federal employee and I can't be on her family policy. She can only carry the girls on her family policy. I have to spend over $3,000 a year buying my own health coverage," said Deane.
But if the Supreme Court rules the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, attorney Mark Scurti says over 1100 federal laws would change.
"The Defense of Marriage Act has been a bar for same sex couples to be able to participate in Health Savings Accounts, health insurance benefits," said Scurti.
Pensions, 401k's, Social Security are all rights that would be given to Lisa and Gita and other same-sex couples who are legally married. Lisa says no one is too far from the case to be heard by the highest court.
"A widow who lost her wife and then had to pay I think $300,000 in taxes on the home that they had owned jointly for decades, I would have to sell the house if something like that happened," said Lisa Polyak, who supports gay rights.
Those on both sides have gathered in front of the Supreme Court all weekend.
"I hold to a traditional view of sexuality, a man and woman in marriage," one person said.
The practical benefits may be equal to the historical shift if DOMA is taken down.
"There's a dignity that we're looking forward to being able to say we're married and the government recognized that," said Polyak.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear a challenge to California's Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage five years ago.
Arguments on DOMA will be heard on Wednesday. The cases will be decided by the end of June.