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‘It’s time’ to legalize gay marriage, Chicago supporters say

Dieter Reecer said he has faith those in power will one day grant same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.

Reecer, 41, of Andersonville said, it’s “common sense” and he hopes “logic” prevails on gay marriage, because “it’s a civil right.”

“It’s time, isn’t it?” he said.

As the Supreme Court Tuesday heard arguments in the landmark same-sex marriage case, gay and straight Chicagoans in the city’s gay enclaves, such as Andersonville and Boystown, were hopeful for a decision that will one day allow same-sex couples to legally marry in the U.S.

“I hope it’s a step in the right direction,” Reecer said.

But the high court suggested Tuesday it could find a way out of the case over California’s ban on same-sex marriage without issuing a major national ruling on whether gays and lesbians have a right to marry.

Leah Greenblum, 25, said, “It would be unfortunate if ... they threw it back and let the states handle it.”

“It seems like now is a good time in history to do this,” she said of the Supreme Court ruling on the issue of marriage equality.

Greenblum, of Logan Square, said she worries that if it’s left to the states, peoples’ rights would differ from state to state.

“I don’t know what they’re waiting for when peoples’ lives, rights and privileges are at stake,” Greenblum said.

Several justices raised doubts that the case was properly before them. And Justice Anthony Kennedy, the potentially decisive vote on a closely divided court, suggested that the court could dismiss the case with no ruling at all.

For Chris Schneider, it would be a disappointment. Schneider, 31, said she feels helpless. She said she and her partner, with whom she has a civil union, have been together more than seven years and are family.

“What more do we have to do to prove that we are a married couple?” the Uptown resident said.

Bradley Allen, 24, said “It should have happened a long time ago.”

“If my partner was sick I wanted to visit him in the hospital, I feel like I should be able to do that,” Allen, of the North Side’s Boystown neighborhood, said. “I just want the same.”

Reecer said that’s the same for all gay couples.

“I’m denied rights that others [have],” Reecer said.

Many have high hopes that if the high court doesn’t take action, state legislators will and same-sex marriage will one day be legal here in Illinois.

Schneider, though, said, “I just don’t know when it will happen.”

Michelle Marcon, though, said it’s a good thing same-sex marriage is being discussed by the Supreme Court and by regular folks.

“The entire world is on this higher consciousness right now,” she said. “This would have never been discussed at a dinner table 20 years ago.”

Marcon, 45, of Andersonville, said that even if the Supreme Court doesn’t take action now, it will come up again.

“At least we’re talking about it,” she said.

Contributing: AP



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