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Same-sex couples celebrating civil rights win

URBANA -- Same-sex couples are celebrating after the U.S Supreme Court struck down the defense of Marriage Act.
URBANA -- Same-sex couples are celebrating after the U.S Supreme Court struck down the defense of Marriage Act. A 5 - 4 vote means gay couples who are legally married can get the same benefits as other couples.

Even though they can't get married in Illinois yet, same-sex marriage was a hot topic during the latest legislative session. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera has more.

Supporters hope this gives them the extra momentum. They say it's all about baby steps. Two years ago, they got civil unions in the state. Now DOMA's been struck down. They hope the next step will give them the chance to walk down the aisle together.

"I never thought it would be in our lifetime that we would see this happen. But, now we have hopes that it will."

That hope, to get married. Kathie Spegal and Lynn Sprout have been together more than a decade.

"This is the lady that introduced us to each other."

The couple got a civil union the first day it was allowed. They say the Supreme Court ruling could help same-sex couples in Illinois get closer to officially tying the knot.

"I wanted to put it all in one place. It wasn't just about me. It was about every gay couple, now and those that will be coming up and those yet to be born."

A close votes shows what these women already know. Not everyone believes in their cause.

"They don't have the deep understanding of how demeaning it is to not be treated like everybody else. So, no matter what the issue is, it's discrimination all the way down the line."

She says they've seen that discrimination firsthand, like when Sprout's previous partner was fighting off death at a hospital.

"They would always tell me, 'You can't stay. You can't be here. She's not your family.' We were together for 18-years and raised 8-children together. This was my family."

Now they'll be hoping and waiting for more family memories to add to their scrapbook.

"Once marriage is established in Illinois, we've got all the rights everybody else has."

Opponents to the ruling say they're disappointed with the way this turned out. They believe marriage should only be between a man and a women.
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