INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Two historic arguments have come to a close. For the past two days, the Supreme Court heard debate in two separate gay marriage cases.
Tuesday, it was California's Proposition 8.
Wednesday, it was the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act legally denying same-sex couples access to federal programs.
During arguments, five justices indicated they could strike down that law. But, no ruling is expected in either case until June.
Indiana's lawmakers will be paying close attention to those rulings. A vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage is expected at the Statehouse sometime next year.
- ONLINE EXTRA | State-by-state look at marriage laws
The landmark cases drew a large crowd to the Statehouse Wednesday, in a rally for marriage equality.
"I believe equal rights are everybody's rights," said Nathan Smith of Pendleton.
"I don't understand what's not natural about loving somebody and trying to be together," said Lauryn Cunningham of Indianapolis. She explained her mother has a partner of many years.
Rachel Luttrell of Tipton came to support her son, who is gay. "I hope that one day he'll be able to marry the man of his dreams, just like I was able to marry the man of my dreams," she said.
"Every parent wants to have their child as protected as they can be," said Troy Smythe of Indianapolis.
He and his partner John Moore say they've been together 13 years. They adopted their son Carlos four years ago.
"We're no different than any other family. It just seems odd to the three of us that our family has fewer rights and protections than other families do, and it doesn't seem fair," added Smythe.
Right now, Troy and John don't have access to more than a thousand federal programs that come with marriage, including survivor benefits and the ability to file a joint tax return.
"Monetarily, financially, we're at a real disadvantage when one of us passes away," said Smythe.
Those against same-sex marriage say losing these laws would threaten the sanctity of marriage. They stand against redefining the term at a federal level.
24-Hour News 8 reached out to multiple agencies who stand against gay marriage; none of them made anyone available to us Wednesday afternoon.
The Supreme Court could do a number of things with these two cases.
They could change the way federal law views the term marriage, or they could choose to leave the marriage debate up to each individual state.
Indiana lawmakers have said we can expect a gay marriage debate here next year, and potentially a referendum on a same-sex marriage ban in November 2014.
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