(CBS) – Same-sex marriage proponents made their views known Monday with a march that wound through downtown Chicago.
Two hundred and fifty came together in hopes of putting pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court, which is set this week to consider the constitutionality of restricting marriage to members of the opposite sex.
“We are demanding freedom and equality from the court,” activist Andy Thayer said before the march. “Justice concedes nothing without a demand.”
And so they marched, carrying their message and their rainbow flags through the Loop at rush hour. They found supporters along the way, including Jenny Drzewiecki, who said, “I feel that two people that love each other should be able to share their life together.”
Some watching the march disagreed.
“I think marriage is between a man and a woman, personally. That’s just my personal opinion,” Eric Ries said.
The protestors say even if Illinois passes same-sex marriage legislation, there are still many rights associated with marriage that wouldn’t apply to them.
Patrick Bova and James Darby have been together 49 years. Darby says he never thought the issue of same-sex marriage would be resolved at the high-court level.
But Tuesday, for the first time, the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue of whether gays and lesbians can marry. the case involves California’s proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage.
Then on Wednesday, the high court reviews the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA.
“I’m hoping the supreme court dumps DOMA because it’s unconstitutional,” Duffy says.
Darby and Bova took part in a civil union ceremony in Chicago’s Millenium Park in 2011. But they still wait to have the same rights as married couples.
“I thank the legislature for civil unions, but it’s not the same as marriage,” Bova says. “Whatever happens, the fact that it’s there will be precedent-setting and historical.”
Bova hopes it sends a message to legislators considering the proposed same-sex marriage act here in Illinois.
Some recent polls seem to show a surge in support of gay marriage, but some social conservatives say they’re wrong. They point to the fact than only nine states have approved same-sex marriage.
Meanwhile, state referenda and initiatives for traditional marriage have been approved 31 times.
Demonstrators who support same-sex marriage planned to march from Federal Plaza to Pioneer Court this evening.