Gay-rights activists sense big victories as Supreme Court decisions loom

Feeling of inevitability around gay marriage

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - Gay marriage will come before the Supreme Court on Tuesday morning.

The justices will hear arguments on California's proposition 8, a statewide ban on gay marriage.

On Wednesday, they will hear arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act.

On Lake Ave. in Lake Worth, 20,000 people celebrated Pridefest. People say that whatever the justices decide, it's a huge win for them.

They're not married yet.

But Andrew Perdigon and Tony Bruce came to Lake Worth to celebrate Pridefest knowing that as New Yorkers, they've got protections Floridians don't have.

Gay marriage is legal there, not here.

"It's really about us being able to build a future together," said Tony Bruce of New York City. I (want to) know he has rights to do things in my absence."

They're confident in a win, hoping the court will invalidate California's prop 8.

They point to a new CNN poll showing that 53 percent of Americans support gay marriage and to Ohio Sen. Rob Portman - who changed his position on gay marriage this month after learning his son is gay.

"The snowball gets bigger and bigger and bigger until the weight is so big it finally bursts through the wall," said Bruce.

In 2008, 62 percent of Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Boca Raton Pastor Mark Boykin argued the court would be out of line to make a sweeping decision on prop 8.

"We're a government of the people. Now it's they the court," said Boykin.

He acknowledges a shift in opinion polls, in rhetoric, and images, but argues that public opinion shouldn't bleed into the court's decision.

"This at the very root of the institution of a home and our culture. It should not be decided from the bench," said Boykin.

But Tony Plakas of the Compass Community Center says the fact that gay marriage is before the Supreme Court is a victory itself.

"For a long time, these conversations were not had openly. People would have them with their families, their loved ones," said Plakas. "We weren't having them as a broader society. I have high hopes for what the court can do."

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