Hundreds rally in Portland in support of same-sex marriage

Hundreds rally in Portland in support of same-sex marriage

PORTLAND, Ore. - Hundreds of people rallied and chanted in downtown Portland Tuesday to support gay-marriage rights.

They gathered at the federal courthouse because the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing two gay-marriage cases this week.

The crowd, ranging from the young to old, was also rallying for same-sex marriage in Oregon.

Event organizer, Basic Rights Oregon, is working to get a measure on the ballot that would make same-sex marriage in Oregon legal.

Supreme Court justices signaled on Tuesday they may not be ready for a major national ruling on whether America's gays and lesbians have a right to marry.

But Pele, an 18-year-old same-sex marriage supporter at Portland's rally, said a ruling in favor of gay marriage will happen eventually.

"The fact is everybody is really feeling that push already, it's in the air,” she said.

The issue before the court on Tuesday was fundamental: Does the Constitution require that people be allowed to marry whom they choose, regardless of either partner's gender? The fact that the question was in front of the Supreme Court at all was startling, given that no state recognized same-sex unions before 2003 and 40 states still don't allow them.

On Wednesday, the justices will consider the federal law that prevents legally married gay couples from receiving a range of benefits afforded straight married people.