To view this site, you need to have Flash Player 9.0.115 or later installed. Click here to get the latest Flash player.
(NECN: Julie Loncich, Boston) - A decision won't be made until 2013, but the mere fact that the United States Supreme Court decided Friday it would take on Prop 8 - California's ban on same-sex marriage - and the federal Defense of Marriage Act has gay rights activists optimistic.
"The federal government doesn't marry people. States do," Mary Bonauto of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders said.
Gay marriage is now legal - or will be soon - in nine states, including Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and Connecticut, and activists have long-argued that DOMA, which limits federal benefits to same sex couples, is unfair and unjust.
"We have a situation where same-sex couples who are married legally in this state and in the other New England states are treated as single for all federal purposes and that's really making a difference in people's lives and undermining their security," Bonauto said.
"There is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage and we hope the justices take this opportunity to confirm that position," Andrew Beckwith of the Mass. Family Institute said.
Opponents with the Mass. Family Institute have been working in conjunction with others agencies in other states to see that what they call the natural definition is preserved, and sees this as an opportunity, given that voters in the Commonwealth never had a chance to amend state law.