Activist weigh in as same-sex marriage heads to U.S. Supreme Court

by: Dave Huddleston Updated:

On Tuesday, the justices will hear arguments on the constitutionality on California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriages.

ATLANTA - All eyes are on the U.S. Supreme Court this week as they will hear two cases regarding same-sex marriage.

On Tuesday, the justices will hear arguments on the constitutionality on California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriages.

The other case the court will hear Wednesday is known as DOMA, or the Defense of Marriage Act. Currently the federal government does not legally recognize the same-sex marriages from those states that allow it.

In Atlanta, gay rights advocates say the hearings could be some of the most significant civil rights cases since the voting and education rights cases of the 50s and 60s.

"We are hoping for a ruling that will allow sweeping changes, but know the court will more likely play it right down the middle and require the federal government to recognize states' rights," said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality.

Graham said that could deliver a possible split verdict, forcing the federal government to recognize the marriages that are allowed by the states, but letting the states make their own rules.

He said that would keep Georgia where it is, banning same-sex marriage.

"And that's why I say it could be status quo for us here in Georgia for a short period of time. It may, quite frankly, be status quo for us here for years to come," Graham said.

Currently 41 states, including Georgia, have a ban on same-sex marriage even though some national polls show most Americans do not oppose same-sex marriage.

A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 58 percent of Americans favor legalization of same-sex marriage.