TAMPA, Florida - The battle over same sex marriage is taking a historic turn, as the Supreme Court justices heard arguments on Tuesday.
Chief Justice John Roberts said, "I'm not sure that it's right to view this as excluding a particular group."
Justice Sonia Sotomayor said, "Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits or imposing burdens on them?"
A coalition of different groups called "United for Marriage" gathered outside the federal courthouse in downtown Tampa Tuesday evening to support same sex marriage.
Cathy James, her 13-year-old son, and her partner didn't let the cold, windy weather keep them away. Under the American Flag with the rainbow gay pride flag nearby, she shared her story with 10 News.
She said, "My partner and I have been together for 18 years and we have a 13-year-old son."
Their son spoke to the crowd about the special bond he said he shares with both of his moms. James said, "Our family needs the same rights as straight couples do and straight families. We need those 1,050 rights and privileges that are afforded with marriage."
Terry Kemple of the Community Issues Council said they don't believe it's something that should be decided by the Supreme Court. He said it's not their responsibility, and that the justices have stepped into the role as legislators rather than judges.
Kemple said, "It's like we have nine un-elected desk butts who are imposing their view of what the social compact in America on 250 million people, and I just don't think that's right."
Kemple's view of marriage is simple and Bible based. He added, "There is no such thing as same sex marriage. Marriage is one man and one woman. There's a benefit to society for a child to grow up in a home with a mother and father."
But many of the people at the vigil say gays, lesbians, and transgenders want the same things straight families want. James said, "Quit thumping that Bible and open it and read it, because Jesus brought a message of love. He brought a message of acceptance."