Saturday, April 19, 2014

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Marriage Equality Battle In DC Gets Local Support

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As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in two same-sex marriage cases this week, supporters here in the city are calling on the justices to rule in their favor. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.

Park Slope residents Jay Michaelson and Paul Dakin spent Sunday preparing for Passover dinner. The couple got married after New York State made same-sex marriage legal in 2011.

"We clicked really quickly and that's why I surprised him when I proposed," said Michaelson.

"He asked me in so many words and I just felt like this big, 'Yes,'" recalled Dakin.

While their new marriage might be bliss the federal tax laws don't see it that way. They say they're losing $2,000 this year.

"It's something much more than just the monetary. It's basically saying what we have together and the home that we've built together isn't real," noted Michaelson.

That's basically why another New Yorker, Edie Windsor sued the federal government. She married her same-sex partner in Canada in 2007. Her partner died two years later and the feds forced Windsor to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in inheritance tax that she would not have had to pay in a heterosexual marriage.

Hundreds of people chanted, marched and carried signs from the Stonewall Inn to Washington Square Park Sunday hoping to make a big difference.

"We're here to let Edie know we're thinking about her as she goes all the way to the Supreme Court," said Cathy Marino-Thomas of Marriage Equality USA.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case Wednesday as she fights the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

People are already camped out in line for seats in the court to witness that and Tuesday's battle over California's Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage.

Appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, Austin Nimocks of the Alliance Defending Freedom said, "The people in California have now voted twice. Both times voted to uphold marriage as a union between one man and one woman."

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition said, "Do we have a compelling interest in strengthening and supporting the durable enduring and uniquely complimentary appropriate union of a man and woman?"

Back in New York, Michaelson and Dakin counters their relationship will endure. Dakin converted to Judaism for Michaelson and Michaelson says on the holiday that celebrates liberation they want their liberation.

"Those who feel it's too soon should look inside their hearts and look who they're saying no to," he said.

Rulings on the two cases being argued before the Supreme Court this week are not expected until June. ClientIP:,, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP