Demonstrators Gather in Cville before Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage
Same-sex marriage supporters rallied in downtown Charlottesville Tuesday afternoon, as the nation's high court prepares to make a landmark decision.
Gay marriage supporters say there is too much at stake to sit on the sidelines.
The rally for marriage equality kicked off at the Free Speech Wall before supporters marched on the downtown mall to make their way to the federal courthouse. They sang songs, including "Love is All You Need" and "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Many of the couples there they say their union is no different from a straight couple's.
"Frankly everyone is entitled to their opinion, but rights are not up for negotiation, and just as I wouldn't vote on someone's right to own a boat, I don't think people should vote on my right to have a family," said demonstrator Meridith Wolnick.
Supporters of traditional marriage say they hear that argument, but they want their perspective to be respected without being called hateful.
"Why does it mean that if I do not agree with your belief that I have to be adversarial, I have to be a hatemonger? Those things I do not believe are actually true with many who hold the traditional view," said Reverend Dr. Lehman Bates.
Bates acknowledged that many who hold the traditional view are afraid to speak up because of potential backlash, but went on to say as our culture and laws change, people will eventually have to make a choice.