The U.S. Supreme Court is taking up two cases this week involving same-sex marriage.
These two cases, Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8 , are fundamentally about whether gay and lesbian couples should have the right to be married.
FOX23's Janai Norman spoke with a local couple who went to Washington, D.C. in hopes of taking part in the historic event. Cathlene Weidenhoeft says watching history unfold was her initial reason for the trip that centered around Proposition 8 and DOMA hearings, but she says that changed as she toured the Supreme Court.
"On the very top of the Supreme Court it says 'equal justice under the law,'" Weidenhoeft began "And that's really why we're here. It's the whole equal rights for everybody in the country."
Right now nine states around the country and Washington, D.C. recognize same-sex marriages. A poll released by CNN shows 53% of the country supports homosexual unions.
Weidenhoeft argues Prop 8 & DOMA aren't just about gay rights, but rather American rights.
"There's a true equality issue and people should not be in a position where they're considered a second class citizens. And they should have the same opportunities as the person who lives next door to them."
She and her partner are set to return to Oklahoma Wednesday. Weidenhoeft says regardless of what's decided, getting the word out and the public engaged in the conversation of equal rights are the most important parts.
"Every step forward we make on getting everybody to discuss the issue and why this is important for us all to be equal, it's an important step for us all."
As a part of the hearings on DOMA and Prop 8, Oklahomans for Equality will be celebrating March 25th - 30th as Marriage Equality Week at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center.
Here is a schedule of events:
Monday, March 25th
- 7:00 pm - The University of Tulsa Law School's SODA (Sexual Orientation Diversity Alliance) Group will present "Preview to the Supreme Court Hearings on Marriage Equality". Local Faith Leaders from inclusive congregations who support Marriage Equality will serve on a panel discussion. Panelists include: Rev. Kelli Driscoll of Bethany Christian Church, Rev. Bob Lawrence of United Church of Christ, Rev. Mary Ann Harris of Unity Church of Christianity and Rev. Eric Banner of All Souls Unitarian Church.
Tuesday, March 26th
- 7:00 pm - OkEq Advocacy Chair, Mike Redman, will discuss the day's proceedings in the U.S. Supreme Court hearings about two cases - Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) & Prop 8.
Wednesday, March 27th
- 7:00 pm - Panel discussion with local couples who have been legally married in other jurisdictions and plaintiffs in the Oklahoma Marriage Equality Defense Lawsuit discussing why marriage matters. Panelists include: Sharon Baldwin and Mary Bishop, Kelly Kirby and Charles Johnston, and Gay Phillips and Susan Barton.
Thursday, March 28th
- 6:30 pm - EBA member led presentation "Home Buyers Education". Please RVSP to email@example.com
- 7:00 pm - Attorney, Conor Cleary, will recap the discussions from the DOMA and Prop 8 hearings. He will also go more in depth on DOMA.
Friday, March 29th
- 7:00 pm - Screening of the Marriage Equality Documentary 'Tie the Knot' with Wedding Cake.
Saturday, March 30th
- 1:00 - 5:00 pm - OkEq with Family and Children's Services will present Within Our Reach - a couples relationship enhancement workshop. Please RVSP to Carrie Little at firstname.lastname@example.org
A wedding show will also be set up at the Equality Center with local businesses handing out information about wedding related services or vital information for same sex couples.