WNYT.com

Supreme Court tackles same sex marriage this week

Posted at: 03/24/2013 3:29 PM
Updated at: 03/25/2013 11:30 AM
By: Dan Bazile

The U.S. Supreme Court tackles same sex marriage this week. The Justices will hear arguments from both sides on two separate cases. Same sex marriage is already legal in New York State, but it continues to be a hot topic across the country. Now the U.S. Supreme Court is getting a look at it.

“People are going to be very interested to see what the other side has to say,” says community activist Libby Post.

The other side has said that unions between two men or two women are not the same thing as marriage between a man and a woman. Dozens of states have a ban on same sex marriage.

The California ban, called Prop. 8, is one of two cases that will go before the court on Tuesday. The other is the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, that bans federal recognition of same sex marriages.

“If they say all bans are constitutional, then all bans will be done away with and people will be able to get married everywhere,” says Post.

Community activist Libby Post says gay and lesbian marriages in New York State will be recognized across the country. Post says the nine justices could also leave it up to the state, in which case, there would be a patchwork throughout the country.

As for DOMA, Post says if the court strikes it down it would make a world difference.

“Folks like me who are married, my partner, god forbid she dies before I do. I'll be able to get her benefits” she says.

She'll also be able to inherit her partner's money and assets without having to pay high taxes.

“Straight people, when they get married, if the guy dies the wife inherits. She doesn't have to pay inheritance taxes,” says Post.

There's also the issue of taxes. Post says she has to file her federal return separately. And the list goes on. But Post says attitudes seem to be changing. A recent poll shows 58% of Americans support same sex marriage.

“People are beginning, or continuing to realize that same sex marriage doesn't hurt anybody,” she says.

She feels the Justices, even by a narrow margin, will follow American sentiment.