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Rally for gay marriage: ‘Tired of being a second-class citizen’

Updated: April 27, 2013 6:35AM

Adam Hart hopes the ultimate result of the Supreme Court putting gay marriage under the microscope this week will be that his parents will one day be able to walk him down the aisle.

“I’m just tired of being a second-class citizen when it comes to other people enjoying marriage,” said Hart, 40, of Oak Park, as he stood in a crowd Monday at a downtown rally on the eve of a landmark Supreme Court hearing.

Justices will listen to arguments on the constitutionality of a California law that bans gay marriage. On Wednesday, justices will hear arguments concerning the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples married in any of the nine states where gay marriage is legal.

As rainbow flags fluttered above several hundred supporters at Federal Plaza, 230 S. Dearborn, D.J. Reed, 30, contrasted the importance of marriage to the gay community with its trivial portrayal in pop culture.

“It’s become a joke that [marriage] is so sacred,” said Reed, of Uptown.

“So many straight people everywhere love watching ‘The Bachelor’ and any other stupid fake wedding TV reality show, and people who truly love each other aren’t allowed to,” said Reed, a salesman at Nordstrom. “I just think they should open their eyes to what’s really going on.”

Same-sex marriage is not legal in Illinois, but momentum to change that has recently gained steam.

The Illinois Senate approved a bill in February that would legalize gay marriage. The Illinois House, where support is not certain, has yet to take up the measure, but Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

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