As the Supreme Court gets ready to tackle the issue of gay marriage, valley residents came together to March in support of the LGBT community.
Next week, justices will hear challenges to California's Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act. Both laws essentially ban gay marriage.
President Obama has urged the Supreme Court to overturn these laws. The Supreme Court will hear arguments about Prop 8 on Tuesday followed by DOMA on Wednesday.
Hundreds of people in Phoenix hit the streets Saturday afternoon marching for marriage equality. It's a local show of support for a heated national issue.
Saturday's march was actually just one of many taking place across the country. Those who marched say they're trying to help generate a national conversation about this issue -- an issue that's expected to be talked about a lot next week.
"We just want to be understood and treated like everyone else," says organizer Molly Gum.
"I think the world would be a lot better place if we didn't fight over issues like this," says gay marriage supporter Brandon.
A crowd gathered in Civic Space Park. People of all ages united.
"This is very important to me personally because I'm a gay man. I'm a citizen of Phoenix and this is a civil rights movement of our generation and to not be involved in it would be tragic," says organizer Grant Miller.
The issue of gay marriage will take center stage next week in the Supreme Court.
Experts say if the court eventually strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act, it would be difficult for states to legally treat same sex and heterosexual couples differently.
"Ten years ago I didn't think this could be possible. When I was in high school there wasn't a single state in the country where gay marriage was legalized and here we are today about to have this national conversation that could change the face of this movement forever," says Gum.
Organizers say Phoenix has the 5th largest LGBT community in the United States. Today they stand in solidarity with other communities across the country.
"Shouldn't be a problem that two men are getting married, two women are getting married, whoever gets married. If you love each other it's all right. If you don't see it in a religious forum, if the church doesn't recognize it, I don't care. I just think with government taxes and healthcare everyone should all be equal," says Brandon.
We're told people have already started camping out in Washington DC to try and attend these hearings at the Supreme Court. They're scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
KDFW FOX 4
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