MINNEAPOLIS -- Dozens of Minnesotans gathered in front of the federal courthouse Monday night and lit candles for gay rights.
"This is a vigil to light the way," announced organizer Jacob Reitan.
They are hoping to light the way for the Supreme Court which will begin hearing two landmark cases on Tuesday.
The first is an appeal to Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California.
Two gay couples there are challenging the ban and if successful, it could invalidate all state laws banning gay marriage including Minnesota's.
Wednesday, the court will hear a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act.
That law currently blocks federal benefits to same sex couples in the nine states and District of Columbia where gay marriage is legal.
"I think our friends and family, we're lucky, they do validate us, but the laws don't validate us," says Minnesota resident Scott Mayer.
Mayer and his partner John Zeches have been together for 19 years and think the timing is finally right.
"You know when I was younger people saw differences in people and I think younger people now see variety, which is a positive," says Zeches.
They hope the voices heard in front of the federal courthouse Monday night are heard loud and clear by the nation's highest court Tuesday morning.
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