Clevelanders Rally for Marriage Equality

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CLEVELAND – It's a supreme test for marriage this week.

As the Supreme Court will review two same-sex marriage cases, Jamie Scott-Moore wonders how that will shape his relationship with his husband, Tim.

“We want the state to recognize us,” Jamie said. “We want equal rights, but we recognize each other and that we love each other, and that we’re married to each other, and nobody can take that away from us.”

Jamie and Tim rallied with nearly 200 others outside Cleveland City Hall Sunday.

Exactly a year ago, the two were married on its front steps.

True, their marriage isn’t legally accepted in the State of Ohio, but that could change – or at least, that’s what Jamie hopes.

The nation’s highest court will start reviewing a California same-sex marriage law, Proposition 8, as well as the Defense of Marriage Act.  Depending on the court’s ruling, DOMA could legalize federal benefits for gay couples.

“For us, it’s a huge move-forward because we know the generation coming up in back of us is going to enjoy things we didn’t have and two generations ago, they didn’t think they would see in a lifetime,” Jamie said.

About 10 years ago, the State of Ohio didn’t appear to accept couples like Jamie and Tim.

In 2004, the state passed a Constitutional Amendment that defines a marriage as a union between a man and a woman – it passed with 62 percent support.

Now, a poll recently published in the Columbus Dispatch shows that 54 percent of Ohioans support repealing that Amendment, supporting the couples like Jenni and Anna Ferro.

The two have been together for 12 years, and got married in 2006.

“We’re actually legally married in New York, but that doesn’t mean anything for us here in Ohio,” Jenni said. “But we think that will change. We hope it will.”

While insurance, taxes and healthcare are some of the biggest concerns for Jenni and Anna, their biggest priority is their children.

They worry that because of the lack of support – in Ohio and federally – their 4-year-old twins, Elizabeth and Robert, may be the ones who suffer.

“We love them beyond so much,” Anna said. “Discrimination towards anyone for any reason should never be lawful and acceptable, especially in the United States of America.”

It’s acceptance they hope will come soon.

Dozens of attendees signed a petition for the state to review its law and give all families a change to be recognized in Ohio.

Jamie said that vote can’t come soon enough.

“We recognize each other,” he said. “We recognize that we’re married and our family and friends do, which is the most important thing, but we just want to be considered equal with everybody else in the country. It’s not special. We just want to be equal. That’s all.”