This week the Supreme Court will begin to tackle the issue of same-sex marriage, and people here in Charlotte will be watching what the court does closely.
It's an issue that has deeply divided our nation and has created drastically different laws in different states. Supporters of traditional marriage often cite religion.
"The church is basically saying marriage should be preserved for that institution that can create new life, and gay unions cannot do that," David Hains, a spokesman for the Diocese of Charlotte, said.
Supporters of same-sex marriage say it's a civil rights issue.
"If I don't have equal access to marriage, my partner for example is a first responder, what happens if she's in the hospital and is about to pass away?" Sarah Demarest said.
"Will I be able to see her? Will I be able to be there in her last moments?"
Demarest is one of the organizers of a vigil on Tuesday night in support of same-sex marriage. It will be held at Marshall Park at 7 p.m. She believes the court will allow same-sex marriage.
"Most Americans now support marriage equality, and the Supreme Court will recognize that and decide in favor of marriage equality," Demarest said.
At the center of the debate is whether the court should even make this decision or if it should be left up to voters in different states.
"We do not and should not discriminate against gay people," Hains said. "However, the idea of marriage, the question of marriage, is something that is far beyond that. And the Catholic Church is...opposed to gay marriage."
The Supreme Court is taking up both California's Proposition 8, which outlaws same-sex marriage, and the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
Oral arguments begin Tuesday, and a ruling is expected by June.