PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Part of Liberty Avenue from 10th Street down to 9th Street will be closed down Wednesday morning beginning at 9:30 a.m. and lasting until noon, as the greater gay community and their supporters will rally there to await an important decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.
An historic court decision on gay rights will be handed down 250 miles from Pittsburgh — but the local LGBT community intends to be front and center.
“We’re bringing in a large television screen, a stage and speakers and we’re inviting the community and all its supporters to come watch the rulings live,” Chris Bryan of the Delta Foundation told KDKA’s political editor Jon Delano.
The court will decide two cases — one on California’s Proposition 8 where voters in a referendum shot down same-sex marriage in that state — and the other on the federal Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, which prohibits federal benefits to same sex married couples even if they are legally married in states that allow it.
“The true win for Pennsylvanians is that DOMA is ruled unconstitutional. That would be the true win for the community,” said Bryan.
Bryan says overturning DOMA will bring federal recognition to same-sex marriage and open up tax benefits to married gay couples.
“It’s over 1,200 tax benefits you get from being recognized as legally married by the federal government,” he says.
But whatever the court decides, there is likely to be no same-sex marriage here until the state legislature acts.
“There’s been a lot of progress, but there’s a long way to go until it’s going to happen in Pennsylvania,” adds Bryan.