After Supreme Court gay marriage rulings, attention turns to states

KENOSHA (WITI) -- Two weeks after the Supreme Court ended the federal ban on gay marriage, and attention is now turning to the states. Observers say it's not likely a huge change will come to Wisconsin anytime soon, as the Democratic and Republican leaders of the state Senate have very different views on what, if anything, will be done.

This weekend, residents in the blue-collar city of Kenosha draped themselves in the entire rainbow. It was the city's first-ever gay pride event, signaling a change in attitudes, and coming just two weeks after the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on gay marriage.

"I'm just hoping that Wisconsin will follow suit," Karla Gorton said.

Gay rights advocates say there is momentum in the movement, and the next battleground will be the state Legislatures.

"I think we have to really just keep talking about our neighbors, talking about our friends, talking about how there's inequality in this state and what we can do to solve it," Anthony Kennedy, Kenosha's 10th District Alderman said.

Charlie Erdall of Kenosha is gay, and can't get married legally in Wisconsin, but he's hoping that will change after the Supreme Court's decision.

"It's a big deal to me. I want to personally get married. I feel that it's a push in the right direction," Erdall said.

The Wisconsin constitution was amended in 2006 to ban gay marriage. Overturning that would require a measure to pass in two successive Legislative sessions, and then it would go to the voters.

"From our perspective in Wisconsin, it doesn't have that direct effect you might see in other states because of the constitutional amendment," Scott Fitzgerald (R - Juneau) said.

Fitzgerald, Wisconsin's Senate Majority Leader says Republicans in the Legislature continue to support the ban.

"I don't think there's anything that I could really put my thumb on and say, 'wow, there's really some movement or a change in attitude,' but a lot of the people I've spoken to since the Supreme Court ruling are asking questions, rather than saying, 'we've got to move away from our position,'" Fitzgerald said.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson predicts gay marriage will eventually come to the Badger State.

"I think it's inevitable, whether Wisconsin is going to choose to go in that direction and amend the hate out of our constitution and go in that direction, or the Supreme Court is going to move in that direction first and we're going to be dragged along kicking and screaming," Larson (D - Milwaukee) said.

Advocates acknowledge a change could take years, but they say they'll keep bringing the message of equality to new corners of the state, like Kenosha.

"We're all human, we're all people, so I can't undertsand why we can't all have the same rights," Gorton said.

There are 30 states that currently ban gay marriage, and 13 that allow it.