When a gay Berlin woman saw red equality signs in support of gay marriage and civil equality posted on many Facebook profiles Tuesday — the same day U.S. Supreme Court justices listened to arguments defending same-sex marriage — she said she was blown away.
"I thought it was awesome," Jenna Curren, 27, said. "I don't bring my phone into work so I didn't see it until later in the day but I changed my profile picture to that right away. People will still oppose it but polls show that more and more people are in favor of it. Look at the divorce rate between a man and a woman, it's terrible. Two men or two women who get married usually stay together for a long time because they had to wait and they had to fight to stay together."
The Supreme Court is reviewing whether to let stand a California ban on same-sex marriage.
The case on the delicate and divisive issue is eagerly anticipated. Recent polls show growing support among Americans for gay marriage, but only nine states recognize it, while 30 states have constitutional amendments prohibiting it. A CNN poll says 56 percent of the public says the federal government should legally recognize same-sex marriages, with 43 percent disagreeing.
"I'm watching what is going on with the Supreme Court and I'm not," said Curren. "I hate politics so I'm not too keen on watching and waiting but this is very important because it very much affects my life."
Tuesday was the first of two days of arguments before the court. On Wednesday, the court will consider the related question of whether the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies federal benefits to married same-sex couples, should be struck down. Rulings in both cases are not expected until June.
Curren said her gay friends talk about same-sex marriage and even more so if something major happens or somebody in the public eye makes a controversial statement or quote.
"We talk about it all the time especially if one of our friends get engaged," she said. "We wonder what they will do for their wedding and what we will do when it is our time to get married. When someone makes a ridiculous sexist statement we also talk about it a lot."
Curren has had two serious relationships of over two years and has been in a relationship with another woman since October of 2012.
"I want a normal wedding, well I guess it's not normal but I want the same kind of wedding that all my straight friends get to have. I want to have a ceremony and a reception and two wedding dresses and bridesmaids. The whole deal."
Curren has had the benefit of having a supportive family.
"I had my first girlfriend when I was 16 and then I dated boys on and off until I came out when I was 21," Curren said. "My family had no problem with it. They told me when I told them that they knew it all along and wondered why I waited so long to tell them.
"It is not who I am. It contributes to my personality but that's it. I don't go up to people and say I'm Jenna Curren and I'm gay. Just like my straight friends don't introduce themselves as straight. People have gotten a lot better about the subject but we still have a long way to go."
"I have to say I'm lucky because I have a supportive family and I have the same group of friends I've had since I was in high school. They could care less about who I love," Curren continued. "I wish people would just stop putting labels on people and let them love who they love."