Students at Western Illinois University's Quad Cities Campus are joining the country's youngest generations in making sure their voices are heard as the U.S. Supreme Court continues discussions on two historic cases regarding same-sex marriage.
On Thursday, March 28th, 2013, UNITY - a student-run group at WIU-QC - held an event to discuss the Supreme Court's discussions on same-sex marriage, which is a topic some students say will impact their generation more than any other.
"It's one of the major civil rights movements right now," says WIU-QC Senior Hayleigh Covella. "This is very important."
Hayleigh and about a dozen other students listened Thursday night to Dr. Kim Rice, the Assistant Professor of Political Science at WIU-Macomb. She spoke about what could impact the Supreme Court's decision on the two same-sex marriage cases that sit before them, such as the power of public opinion.
"Hopefully that is what they're there for," says WIU-QC Senior Matt Brown."To do what the people want and not what other interests want."
Dr. Rice presented a poll done by the Pew Research Center that shows what she calls a dramatic shift in support for same-sex marriage since 2004. In October 2004, 30% of Americans were in favor of same-sex marriage while 58% opposed it. In April 2012, 47% were in favor and 43% were not.
Another poll -- from CNN -- shows 56% of Americans believe same-sex marriage should be recognized by the Federal Government and that support is highest among those 18-34 year old.
Hayleigh and Matt both agree that the majority's wants should be in the Supreme Court's best interest, since their generation will be the one that lives with whatever these nine justices decide, a decision that may not be revealed until June.