Central New York reacts as Supreme Court reviews two important gay marriage cases

Ernst Schuh and Frederick Marvin

On Friday, the Supreme Court announced it will take up California's ban on same-sex marriage and decide whether Congress can deprive legally married gay couples of federal benefits.

The news sent waves through the community, many optimistic about the possibilities the review presents. Frederick Marvin, who was married on in October of 2011 on Syracuse City Hall's front steps to Ernst Schuh, hopes the review makes same-sex marriage legal nationally.

"It would be absolutely fabulous if it passed for all states, not just California," Marvin says.

The Supreme Court also says it will review the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which limits health and pension benefits to just heterosexual couples. This decision to review comes from the case of Edie Windsor, who had to pay thousands of dollars in taxes after her wife Thea died and left her possessions to Edie. Barrie Gewanter, the director of the Central New York chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union, says the Windsor case is important.

"The ramifications of the Windsor case are very very significant," Gewanter says. "It really gets at the question, is it constitutional to give equal benefits to somebody who has been legally married just because they're of the same sex?"

Gewanter says the Supreme Court could decide to either change the law for just California, or could extend it to the entire nation.