Same-Sex Marriage Supporters Rally for Equality

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March 27, 2013

On the heels of the national discussion on marriage equality, supporters brought the conversation to Charlottesville. Dozens of people rallied downtown Tuesday afternoon in support of same-sex marriage.

"It's about saying you can be who you need to be, who you are and you can be true to yourself," Charlottesville Pride president Amy Marshall told the crowd before they started the march.

Wearing red to symbolize love and waving rainbow flags, the group marched from the free speech wall to the federal courthouse building.

Albemarle County resident Silvia Barrett made the trip alongside her 16-year-old daughter, Emily.

"I want to be sure that when she, if she's ever ready to marry, that she can marry whoever she wants to marry just like I was able to marry who I wanted to marry," said Barrett.

Linda McNeil, also from Albemarle County, attended the rally with her partner. The couple have been together for more than two decades, but say they are waiting to tie the knot until Virginia or the nation as a whole recognize gay marriage.

"If you really want to make that commitment to one other person for your whole life, which is a huge commitment, you need the support of the society that you live in to be able to do that," said McNeil.

It appears support is growing. A poll released Tuesday by CBS News shows that a year ago, a slight majority of Americans, 51 percent, said same-sex marriage should not be legal. Now, 53 percent are for it.

There has been an even bigger shift in the last ten months for republicans, according to the poll. In May 2012, 13 percent of republicans were proponents of same-sex marriage. Now, that number has nearly tripled to 37 percent.

Local republican leaders declined to comment on the topic until the Supreme Court makes a ruling.

To see the full CBS News poll, CLICK HERE.

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