Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision expected Wednesday

WISCONSIN (WITI) -- From voting rights to same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court is taking up a bunch of issues and giving its official ruling. The Supreme Court is expected to release its decisions on two cases that have big implications for the future of the "marriage equality" movement.

One way or another, the Supreme Court will deliver history when it hands down its decision on two landmark cases involving the fundamental social institution of marriage.

"This is the first time an issue of such importance to the Marriage Equality Movement is before the court," Katie Belanger, Executive Director of Fair Wisconsin said.

Fair Wisconsin is an advocacy group working for gay equality.

"Marriage is really about love and commitment and family and the denial of marriage equality does negatively impact gay and lesbian and same-sex couples and their families," Belanger said.

Conservatives see gay marriage as an erosion of the family -- believing if gay marriage is allowed, the traditional family will suffer.

"What we're saying is kids don't need both a male and a female, a married mom and dad -- that two men and two women are just the same. That statistically in the research just isn't true," Julaine Appling with Wisconsin Family Action said.

Gay men and lesbians do not have legal equality when it comes to marriage in all parts of the country. States allow it, but the Federal Defense of Marriage Act prevents federal recognition of any same-sex marriage.

That is being challenged in one case.

The other case deals with California's Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage, and the decision could impact whether Wisconsin's ban is Constitutional.

"Wisconsin does have a Constitutional ban, so if the Proposition 8 case is decided a certain way, it could strike down all bans," Belanger said.

"Our hope is that they'll leave it to the states to continue this discussion," Appling said.

Appling of Wisconsin Family Action -- a group advocating for conservative values, says the definition of marriage shouldn't be changed by courts.

"It's not a human construct, if you will.  It predates organized government, and it's always been a foundational institution of our society.  The main reason it has been is because it is the very best way to care for the next generation," Appling said.

Both Appling and Belanger say it's impossible to predict exactly what the court will do on Wednesday morning. Therefore, the full impact on Wisconsin won't be known until the decisions are handed down.