Florida same-sex couples watching U.S. Supreme Court very closely

Court expect to rule on cases in June

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Court watchers are questioning whether justices will establish a constitutional right to gay marriage or leave it for states to decide. People on both sides of these issues are awaiting those decisions, which are not expected until June.

"I don't know how to see the future as much as I know what was," said Connie Kurtz, who has been in a relationship with her partner Ruthie Berman for 38 years. The couple was married in 2011 in the state of New York, where gay marriage is legal. They live in West Palm Beach now, but their attention is set on the nation's capitol.

Two days of arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court are now over, marking some of the biggest legal pushes for gay marriage yet.

Many Americans argue the institution of marriage - between a man and a woman - is under attack. Others say the time for equality under the law is now. "I would like attitudes to change. I would like laws to change and I'm not going to settle until that all comes to pass," said Kurtz.

Legal battles at the federal level question the basis for of the Defense Of Marriage Act and also California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage.    

In the rapidly evolving debate, a group of Florida lawmakers is working on a different front. They want to create a statewide domestic partnership registry which would ensure broader legal rights for gay couples who cannot marry in this state.

Under current Florida law, same-sex couples can not get married. Seven of the state's 67 counties recognize domestic partnerships.

"I tell you, I didn't think it would take so long," said Berman.
 

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