Bay Area Couples Await Gay Marriage Ruling | NBC Bay Area

Bay Area Couples Await Gay Marriage Ruling

It's an anxious night for people on both sides of the same-sex marriage battle as tomorrow the highest court in the country may announce whether it will hear the case that is preventing gays from getting married



    (Published Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012)

    "This time we think this is finally it," Thom Watson said.

    Watson and Jeff Tabaco were fifth in line to get their marriage license two years ago when the courts decided to put gay marriage on hold.

    For this couple, Friday is a very big day.

    "I feel like we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel we’re hopeful what could happen in the next few days," Tabaco said.

    On Friday, nine Supreme court justices are scheduled to meet behind closed doors to decide if they will take up series of cases concerning same sex marriage.

    One of them is the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The other is Proposition 8, the ban on same- sex marriage in California.

    "It’s very likely that the court will take at least one of the cases challenging the defense of marriage act that’s the federal law that prevents the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same sex couples even in states where it’s legal for them to get married," said Christopher Stoll with the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

    Those who are fighting to keep marriage between a man and a woman in California believe the High Court will hear their case.

    California has been in an on and off again relationship with gay marriage.

    Gavin Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco, allowed marriages on Valentine's Day in 2004 but soon after, those who believe marriage should only be between a man and a woman filed an appeal, sending gay marriage rights all the way to the supreme court.

    "Even if they deny in the prop 8 case that doesn’t mean the next day you can do gay marriage in SF. What it means is the case has to be returned back to the ninth circuit, the (court) has to return it back to the district court," UC Hastings law professor Rory Little said.

    As for Watson and Tabaco, they say they are optimistic.

    "For me it would be a validation of our commitment to each other. Not just to each other but to the entire community," Tabaco said.