Marriage rights supporters rally at South Carolina State House - DatelineCarolina

Marriage rights supporters rally at South Carolina State House

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Zac Baker speaks at the rally for marriage equality Tuesday evening. Zac Baker speaks at the rally for marriage equality Tuesday evening.
Ralliers expressed their opinions through signs Tuesday evening. Ralliers expressed their opinions through signs Tuesday evening.

By Bryan Wendland

Zac Baker ended his speech on the steps of the South Carolina State House Tuesday evening with three simple words:

"We are equal," Baker said.

He was speaking in front of a crowd of marriage equality supporters who held a rally in conjunction with the first of two days of arguments at the Supreme Court centered on gay marriage. One case has to do with the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The other is a challenge to California's Proposition Eight banning gay marriage.

"These are our civil rights. We want the right to get married, to argue over who gets to do this dishes," Baker said.

Speakers directed chants, told stories, and even led prayers throughout the evening. Supporters of the marriage equality movement came from all over the state to be at the rally. Larry Candler and his wife Margie drove to Columbia from Greenville to demand equal rights for their family.

"We have three gay children who have not yet attained their equal rights as guaranteed to them by the constitution," Larry Chandler said. "If something happened to my daughter, her partner would not get social security benefits.".

Even people with no family ties to movement rallied. Gloria Talcove-Woodward,a retired Irmo High School teacher, said she's always supported causes like gay rights.

"I've always been very dedicated to peace and justice issues, because I have a problem with injustice," said Talcove-Woodward, who was the president of her church in the mid-90s. She said there's no reason the religious shouldn't accept same-sex couples into their community despite some groups' opposition.

"People love Jesus, right? Jesus would never do this to people," Talcove-Woodward said.

The Supreme Court is not expected to rule on DOMA or PROP 8 until the start of Summer.

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