Gay marriage advocates rally in Springfield - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Gay marriage advocates rally in Springfield

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Dozens rallied outside the Federal Courthouse in Springfield Monday night as the Supreme Court prepares to hear two consecutive days of cases for and against gay marriage.

Christine and Beth Harlow-Harris have been married for more than five years and have an adopted daughter. They say they're a typical American family.

"We live in America, we pride ourselves on diversity," said Christine Harlow-Harris, a gay marriage advocate at Monday night's rally.

She has been out of work for a year. Her wife Beth Harlow-Harris says they're struggling financially under the Defense of Marriage act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and denies same-sex spouses federal benefits.

"A coworker who has an unemployed spouse does not get income tax charges for their benefits. We do. This affects us in more ways than one," Beth Harlow-Harris said.

Massachusetts is one of nine states where gay marriage is legal. But supporters say that once they cross state lines, that union is dissolved.

"If you just go for a ride to Newport Beach, your marriage is meaningless," said Cathy Cristofferson who was at the rally.

The group rallying Monday night is just one of 172 scheduled rallies happening around the country in anticipation of the hearings this week in Washington.

They say they are optimistic.

"It's been struck down nine times already, so we have a pretty good track record," Cristofferson said.

"We want to be treated equally, we're no different than anybody else," said Christine Harlow-Harris.

Opponents of same sex marriage say they'd rather see it become a ballot question up to the states.

The Supreme Court justices are not expected to issue any decisions until June.

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