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Prop. 8 plaintiffs express guarded optimism before arguments

The plaintiffs in this morning's landmark Supreme Court hearings challenging California's ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, spoke personally on Tuesday about how the case would personally affect them.

“Jeff and I long to be married and start a family of our own and have the equal rights that are guaranteed to all Americans that are in loving and committed relationships. Today marks the final chapter of a long, four-year journey toward that goal,” said Paul Katami, who, along with his partner, Jeff Zarrillo, makes up one of two couples that filed a federal lawsuit challenging the same-sex marriage ban, approved in November 2008.

Katami, appearing with his fellow plaintiffs and Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin outside a Washington, D.C. townhouse, added that he and Zarrillo have “faith in our country’s judicial system.”

Kris Perry said she and her partner Sandy Stier were “hopeful” that they will “finally feel the equality and inclusion that will come with the reversal of Proposition 8.”

There are several potential results of the Proposition 8 case, among them are: upholding the ban; ruling that same-sex marriage should be legal in the states that already allow them plus California; or ruling that Proposition 8’s defenders do not have legal standing to argue in its favor because they are not elected representatives of the state. (Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris both refused to defend it.)

Seeming to acknowledge the variety of possible outcomes, Griffin, the HRC president, said that “while today marks a milestone on this journey towards a more perfect union, we are all mindful that our work is not done until these plaintiffs and every single American, regardless of state borders, can truly realize that promise of equal justice under the law.”

A decision on the case is expected in June.