'Light the Way for Justice' Rally Draws Large Support

RENO, Nev. It's the social issue that has divided our country, but we could soon could have an answer- will same-sex marriage be legal?

That's what millions of Americans hope for as they gathered Monday for marriage equality rallies.

In Reno, more than 200 people showed up for the rally. It was the only one held in Nevada, but just one of about 170 across the nation.

The rallies are in response to a major step in the marriage equality debate.

The Supreme Court scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday and Wednesday on two of the country's most contested same-sex marriage laws.

Tuesday, California's Proposition 8 will be argued. The proposition was narrowly passed by voters in 2008 with a 52-48% margin.

On Wednesday, the federal Defense of Marriage Act will be argued over its constitutionality.

"I have a fiancé, and we just want to get married in the state where we live," Jeromy Manke said.

Manke is the President of Build our Community which helped organize Monday's rally here in Reno. He says the reason he is marching is because it's all about equality.

LGBT rights are a continuing changing landscape," he said. "Right now we don't have the freedom to marry throughout the United States, and we find that to be a big problem."

The peaceful march took place at sunset, and people of all ages and sexual preferences came out to show their support.

"I'm definitely a huge advocate that love is love and equal rights for everyone," Stacey Conner said. "It's important to show support as a straight ally, because I don't think anyone else's marriage would affect mine and I genuinely want to advocate for them."

The Supreme Court isn't the only body hearing arguments on marriage equality this week.

The Nevada State Legislature Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections will listen to public comment on Senate Joint Resolution 13 Tuesday morning.

SJR13, introduced by Democratic Sen. Tick Segerblom of Las Vegas looks to repeal a section of the state Constitution which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The amendment was passed by voters in 2000 and 2002. More than 10 years later, polls indicate public opposition on the issue has shifted towards more support.

But it could take time before the state sees a change. SJR13 would have to be approved by lawmakers during the current session, and again in 2015 before being approve by voters in 2016. If the amendment is repealed, same-sex marriage could be legal in Nevada by 2017.


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