Some Say Fight for Equal Rights is More Than for Federal Benefit - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Some Say Fight for Equal Rights is More Than for Federal Benefits

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) - On Tuesday, justices heard arguments for and against California's ban on gay marriage. Wednesday the issue turned to the defense of marriage act. They're debating a technical issue, which is: should couples in states that allow gay marriage be allowed to recieve federal benefits?

Marquis Taylor and Kerry Snyder have been together for more than a decade. Back in 2007, they decided to make their relationship official.

"With his courage and support and love, there's nothing that i can't do without him behind me," said Marquis.

In their own eyes, they're married. But not in the eyes of the law.

"Freedom freedom freedom. We go to war in other countries to provide those people freedom. But we truly don't have our own freedom here."

Because they can't marry in Michigan, or in most other states, they say gay couples have to jump through hoops for simple things like health insurance. Opponents of gay marriage say civil unions and other laws can give gays and lesbians the protection they seek. But Kerry says the freedom to marry goes beyond civil rights.

"That's human rights: making people non second class citizens," said Snyder.

Snyder says a marriage license wouldn't change the way they feel about it each other, but it would change their relationship in some very important ways.

"Should anything ever happen to me, that Marquis can make decisions for me and that he would be protected and be taken care of. And that means everything to me," said Kerry.

The court is expected to issue its ruling on both of the same-sex marriage cases by June.

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