Students hold vigil awaiting Supreme Court decision on gay marri - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Students hold vigil awaiting Supreme Court decision on gay marriage

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - College students from the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center will host a candlelight vigil as they await Supreme Court rulings on two gay marriage actions on March 26 and March 27.

The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on Proposition 8, which previously passed in California.

It says "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." The Supreme Court has the power to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage or strike it down without a ruling.

On Wednesday, the same court will consider overturning the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The Act defines marriage as the legal union of "one man and one woman," which prevents married gay couples from having access to marriage benefits.

"I've been married 15 years. My partner and I were married in Connecticut, but when we come back to Tennessee, they treat us as if we don't know each other or as if we're roommates or strangers on the street," said MGLCC Executive Director Will Batts. "That's not up to the government to decide."

Organizers of the Memphis vigil say the outcomes in the two cases will have an important impact on the future of marriage equality all over the country.

Meanwhile, the Arkansas Family Council says allowing any definition of marriage other than between a man and a woman would be the end to the social institution of marriage.

Tonight on Action News 5 at 5 p.m., Kontji Anthony will bring you both sides of this debate.

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