Gay marriage cases could affect Fla.

Published On: Mar 25 2013 03:38:13 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 25 2013 03:38:47 PM EDT

jeangill/SXC

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

It's a big week for supporters of gay marriage. Two Supreme Court cases are putting the issue front and center, and those cases could have implications in Florida, where gay marriage is banned in statute and in the state Constitution.

Ahead of the trials, supporters of gay marriage held rallies across the nation Monday in preparation for the cases.

At the Florida Capitol, about 50 supporters showed up, some with signs. One man holding a Bible protested the rally.

"One man and one woman for a life time," he said.

The crowd mostly kept its cool, but one woman broke ranks to challenge the protestor.

"Yeah, for gay marriage being legalized in nine states and Washington D.C. and countries over the world," she said. "You are on the losing side buddy."

Polls show support for gay marriage is growing, with more than half the country in favor. Twenty-nine states, including Florida, have same-sex marriage bans in their constitutions. Florida also has a ban written into statute.

High school student Emalee Schierman is being raised by lesbians. She says it hasn't negatively affected her or her brothers and sisters.

"I think my two moms have done a pretty good job," Schierman said. "My three siblings are all smart, well-rounded and just as damage-free as any children born from straight families."

While the group rallied outside the state Capitol, inside legislation creating a statewide domestic partnership registry has stalled. Susan Gage, of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, says the Supreme Court cases could change everything.

"I hope that whatever might come out of the Supreme Court, if it is a positive decision for the gay and lesbian community, that they might go back and revisit this and pressing forward with marriage equality," Gage said.

But they may not need to. Depending on how the court rules, Florida's gay marriage ban may could be overridden.

One of the two cases challenges California's ban on gay marriage. If the U.S. Supreme Court rules against the ban, that could render Florida's ban unconstitutional.

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