WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- On the eve of the US Supreme Court taking up the issue of gay marriage, several hundred people turned out for the "United for Marriage: Light the Way to Justice" vigil.
The vigil, held outside the Federal Courthouse in Winston-Salem, is one of over 170 taking place in 50 states to show support for the equal rights of gays and lesbians.
"This is really about our rights as individuals, as citizens, as tax payers of the US," said Kristin Hedin who got engaged to her partner L. Rankin last year.
The couple hopes the Supreme Court will allow them to get married in North Carolina.
"To be equal under the law, to be like everybody else. We don't want to be special, we want to be equal," Rankin said.
Those in support of marriage only between a man and a woman are making their voices heard too as they head to Washington Tuesday.
"The Supreme Court will have the opportunity to uphold marriage and return authority to the voters to decide marriage policy," said Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director of NC Values Coalition who, along with hundreds of supporters, are marching on Washington Tuesday.
Law experts say if the Supreme Court overturns the two cases they plan to hear, it won’t have an immediate impact on North Carolina, which only recognizes marriage between a man and woman, unless the supreme court makes a broad,across the board ruling.