Texas couple travels to SF for same-sex marriage; hopes laws change

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Kirby Johnson and Krista Weaver came all the way from Denton, Texas to San Francisco be legally married Tuesday in San Francisco's City Hall, because their home state doesn't allow same-sex marriages.

"It is upsetting that it's not in Texas," said Weaver. "So we did want to come here and get it just official so that we're like everyone else."

Same-sex marriage advocates hope sweeping changes may be coming this summer.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday morning heard arguments on a challenge to same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. A broad ruling in favor of the plaintiffs - 12 same-sex couples - could potentially remove barriers to marriage in every state.

In court, the justices asked tough questions of both sides about states' rights. "We now have 36 states that are allowing same-sex marriage and the rapid change was mentioned today by several justices," said University of San Francisco Constitutional Law professor Julie Nice. "The question is, how do we interpret the Constitution, what do we do with the fact that society is changing around our Constitution, how does the court interpret it for today's time?"

Court observers say Justice Anthony Kennedy is expected to be the swing vote, though Nice says he is in a difficult position despite three previous decisions favoring same-sex marriage. "He's clearly troubled because he himself has always been a proponent of states' rights," said Nice. "So here he has to choose basically, between his gay rights beliefs and his states' rights beliefs."

A ruling by the justices is expected in late June.

For Johnson and Weaver the hope is for a broad Supreme Court ruling that enables recognition of their California marriage back home in Texas.

"It's been a long time coming," said Johnson. "We want to be like the rest of America. We can marry wherever we want to."