It's an exciting time for those who will be affected by the Supreme Court's decision on two same-sex marriage cases, but diving into uncharted waters can also be nerve-wracking.
"It's kind of a weight lifted off my chest if it does, but now that it's finally here, it's kind of scary," Katelin Foote, president of Texas Tech's Gay/Straight Alliance, said. "Either it goes through, and that's great, my future looks bright. I have friends that have been in long-term relationships, and they can't get married right now. If this goes through they can, but if not, it just continues to be this struggle we have to go through, and it's just a little daunting right now."
"I just hope this is passed sooner rather than later so that people in this country are no longer othered."
The high court took up the Proposition 8 case, a ban on same-sex marriage in California. Although a ruling is not expected for some time, the ball might not move at all. A number of the justices asked why individual states shouldn't be able to make their own decisions about this relatively new concept. Leon Eldridge with Metropolitan Community Church of Lubbock said it's never too early to deal with equality issues, comparing the cases to other civil rights struggles.
"We, as homosexual people, we're asked to be american citizens. We are asked to pay our taxes. We are asked to uphold the citizenship that we are blessed to have, and that's kind of an egregious statement," Eldridge said. "That's saying that with the Black Movement in the sixties and seventies, when was it too early or too late to say that they were equals? With women's suffrage and any kind of civil rights movement, it's never too early to put your foot down and say that justice and equality are deserved by all."
He said the legal ramifications are huge.
"If you are a homosexual couple, and you choose to go forth in your communion together and get married, if you don't have the legality behind it, if you've been a couple for 30 years, and one of you dies, unfortunately, the other partner that's surviving has no say in the estate," Eldridge said. "They have no say if you have children. If you're estranged from family, and you die and your partner who you've been with, you own a home together but your name is on the deed, your family who you're estranged from actually has the rights to that. So it's really not about the faith as much as it's about the legality."
The Supreme Court will also hear the Defense of Marriage Act, which deals specifically with federal benefits of same-sex couples.