Gay Marriage Now A State-By-State Battle After this week's Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage, supporters and opponents are turning their attention to individual states, where several legislatures are expected to take up the issue.

Gay Marriage Now A State-By-State Battle

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. Scott Simon is away this week. Same-sex marriages have resumed in California. Two of the plaintiffs who challenged the state's ban on gay marriage - Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo - said their wedding vows at Los Angeles City Hall last night.



NEARY: It was the end of a long battle for marriage equality in the Golden State. The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for the California marriages to resume. Gay rights supporters celebrated an additional victory this week when the high court overturned a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. NPR's Jeff Brady reports that now gay marriage opponents and supporters are turning their attention back to individual states.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: New Jersey is a focus now for same-sex marriage advocates. Polls show most residents in the state support marriage for gay people. But one person has stood in the way.


BRADY: That's New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, speaking on a Trenton radio station. Heading into a re-election campaign, Christie remains popular even though most voters in the state disagree with him on this issue. He says advocates should put the issue before voters in November with a referendum.


BRADY: Privately, some gay marriage supporters say a referendum is not how they want to win. Sheila Oliver is speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly.

SHEILA OLIVER: Many of our legislative leaders believe that civil rights should not be litigated in a public referendum.

BRADY: Oliver says guaranteeing civil rights should be the role of courts and lawmakers. Last year New Jersey's legislature approved a gay marriage bill, but Governor Christie vetoed it.

OLIVER: I think it's the next tactic you will see in the next coming weeks in New Jersey are efforts to get a veto override.

BRADY: New Jersey already has civil unions, but gay rights groups want full marriage. Hayley Gorenberg is an attorney with Lambda Legal. At a rally Thursday, she said there's a clear legal argument now to establish same-sex marriages in the Garden State.



BRADY: In neighboring Pennsylvania, several Democratic lawmakers are introducing same-sex marriage legislation. On Wednesday, Democratic State Representative Brian Sims, who is gay, tried to make a statement on the House floor but Republicans blocked him. Speaking on member station WHYY, GOP State Representative Daryl Metcalfe said he felt obliged to stop Sims from making comments...


BRADY: Most states in the U.S. don't allow same-sex marriages. But now, with California about 30 percent of the U.S. population will live in states that do have gay marriage. Supporters believe the list of states will only grow. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says he hopes his state will soon make gay marriage legal.

There's talk of campaigns and legal battles in places like Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Ohio. In Colorado, the state has civil unions, but University of Denver law professor Kris Miccio says she wants full marriage. She believes the Supreme Court's rulings last week give her a good argument to make in court. So she has a plan.

KRIS MICCIO: We're going to be married this Saturday after Thanksgiving in New York. And then coming back to Colorado and filing suit.

BRADY: Miccio is among those galvanized by the Supreme Court's actions. Gay marriage opponents say those rulings also have reinvigorated their supporters. Now both sides are preparing for the state-by-state battles that are coming. Jeff Brady, NPR News.

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