Voices pro and con ring out as Supreme Court weighs gay marriage

  • Kevin Coyne of Washington holds flags in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on March 27, 2013. The U.S. Supreme Court, in the second day of gay marriage cases, turned to a constitutional challenge to the federal law that prevents legally married gay Americans from collecting federal benefits generally available to straight married couples. (Associated Press)Kevin Coyne of Washington holds flags in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on March 27, 2013. The U.S. Supreme Court, in the second day of gay marriage cases, turned to a constitutional challenge to the federal law that prevents legally married gay Americans from collecting federal benefits generally available to straight married couples. (Associated Press)
  • This artist rendering shows attorney Charles J. Cooper, right, addressing the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, as the court heard arguments on California's ban on same-sex marriage. Justices, from left are, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan. (AP Photo/Dana Verkouteren)
This artist rendering shows attorney Charles J. Cooper, right, addressing the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, as the court heard arguments on California's ban on same-sex marriage. Justices, from left are, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan. (AP Photo/Dana Verkouteren)
  • A demonstrator holds a bible while marching outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, as the court heard arguments on California's voter approved ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

A demonstrator holds a bible while marching outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, as the court heard arguments on California's voter approved ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • Vanessa Torres (center) and her fiance Rachel Broussard (right) of Hampton, Va., console Vanessa's daughter Gabriela, 12,  as they listen to speakers during a rally for marriage equality outside the Supreme Court in Washington as the justices begin hearing two days of arguments in cases involving gay marriage on March 26, 2013. Torres and Broussard each have two children from previous marriages and are getting married in August. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Vanessa Torres (center) and her fiance Rachel Broussard (right) of Hampton, Va., console Vanessa's daughter Gabriela, 12, as they listen to speakers during a rally for marriage equality outside the Supreme Court in Washington as the justices begin hearing two days of arguments in cases involving gay marriage on March 26, 2013. Torres and Broussard each have two children from previous marriages and are getting married in August. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Demonstrators stand outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, where the court will hear arguments on California’s voter approved ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • **FILE** Franco Ciammachilli (right) of Washington waves a rainbow flag, a symbol of gay pride, behind supporters of traditional marriage outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington as the justices began hearing two days of arguments in cases involving gay marriage on March 26, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)**FILE** Franco Ciammachilli (right) of Washington waves a rainbow flag, a symbol of gay pride, behind supporters of traditional marriage outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington as the justices began hearing two days of arguments in cases involving gay marriage on March 26, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Demonstrators stand outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, where the court will hear arguments on California’s voter approved ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • Demonstrators march outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, where the justices were hearing arguments on California's voter approved ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Demonstrators march outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, where the justices were hearing arguments on California's voter approved ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
  • Qween Amar (left) from Orlando, Fla., dances March 26, 2013, by Margie Phelps (right), a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, outside the Supreme Court in Washington,where the court will hear arguments on California's voter approved ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8. (Associated Press)Qween Amar (left) from Orlando, Fla., dances March 26, 2013, by Margie Phelps (right), a member of the Westboro Baptist Church, outside the Supreme Court in Washington,where the court will hear arguments on California's voter approved ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8. (Associated Press)
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The law was at issue inside the Supreme Court chambers, but democracy was on vivid display just a stone’s throw away as supporters and opponents of gay marriage made their presence known and voices heard on the plaza outside the high court.

“I believe all Americans have the right to marry who they want,” said 39-year-old Eric Koszyk, one of thousands who gathered as the high court heard arguments for and against gay marriage. Mr. Koszyk married his wife on March 15 and said he wants his gay and lesbian friends to have their relationships recognized in the same way.

He finds it upsetting that two heterosexual people can meet up in a bar in Las Vegas, decide to get married and have the union recognized everywhere in the country but his friends who have been in committed homosexual relationships for 15 years cannot.

“I got to marry who I wanted to and so should my friends,” said Koszyk.

Koszyk used to live in Washington state, though now he resides in Virginia, which he describes as “backwards” when it comes to same-sex marriage.

But Patricia Telemaque, a 19-year-old who came came up from Raliegh, North Carolina, with her church to protest same-sex marriage, rejected the idea that gay marriage was the equivalent of the struggle for racial equality and civil rights.

“I do not wake up everyday and decide to be an African American,” said Miss Telemaque, “It’s not a choice.”

Miss Telemaque said children are best off with a mother and a father in their home, are rejected media across-the-board statements about people in her generation supporting same-sex marriage is “false”.

She said most conversations she has had with people on the other side of the issue have been civil, though she is frustrated when they bring issues not dealing with marriage into the conversation.

“Those other issues are not what I am here for,” said Miss Telemaque.

Antonia Arnautaki, 17, and Kyra Bell, 18, of Vienna, Va. said it was important for them to spend part of their spring break showing their support for same-sex marriage.

The two are co-presidents of their high school’s Amnesty International chapter and also officers in their school’s Gay-Straight Alliance.

Miss Bell said she sees same-sex marriage as a civil right and people who do not agree should not be opposed to the legalization of same-sex marriage because it does not force religious groups to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.

“It is clear to us,” said Miss Arnautaki. “I can’t believe we have to go to the Supreme Court to get equal rights to marriage.”

Miss Arnautaki is the child of a single parent and while she is very happy with how she was raised.

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