Capital Region reacts to SCOTUS taking on same-sex marriage cases

ALBANY, N.Y. – The Supreme Court agreed to take up California's ban on same-sex unions and a separate dispute about federal benefits for legally married gay couples on Friday.

Ken Zalewski has a personal stake in the Supreme Court's decision to take up same sex marriage. A three term city councilman in Troy, he's been with his partner Mike for 19 years.

This June, when they celebrate their 20th anniversary, Zalewski said they plan to finally get married.

Growing up in a conservative family, Zalewski says marrying the man he loved was something he never thought would be possible.

The tide does appear to be turning, nine states and Washington D.C. have legalized same sex marriage and recent polls show a majority of Americans approve of it.

Gay marriage is legal, or soon will be, in:

  • Connecticut
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Vermont
  • District of Columbia
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Washington

It is banned by the state constitutions of 30 others.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases, a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act out of New York, and California's Proposition 8 ban on same sex marriage.

California's Proposition 8, is the state constitutional ban on gay marriage that voters adopted in 2008 after the state Supreme Court ruled that gay Californians could marry.

Libby Post, the cofounder of the Empire State Pride Agenda is optimistic the Supreme Court will find in their favor, a ruling she calls important.

As for Zalewski, he said he'll be keeping a close eye on the proceedings – acknowledging that the outcome will have some very big implications for him and his partner.

The cases being reviewed are Hollingsworth v. Perry, 12-144, and U.S. v. Windsor, 12-307.

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