Austin same-sex couple together since 1976 hopeful after Supreme Court news

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Deborah Ellis and Karen Bradley have been together since 1976, that's nearly 4 decades.

Deborah says society has changed quite a bit during that time.

After they met in Galveston, Deb's mother offered her a piece of land to break up with Karen.

"Wanted to give it to me if I would leave Karen and I said 'no...I can't.' I said it wouldn't matter if it was a million dollars, I still can't," Ellis said.

And it's been a hard road. In the years following, Deb and Karen say they've been fired from jobs because of their relationship...even denied medical services.

"We've had people follow us. One guy pulled up a baseball bat just because we're driving down the road," Ellis said.

As it stands now, same-sex couples can only marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia.

Judges have struck down anti-gay marriage laws here in Texas but they're still in effect during the appeals process.

Now the U.S. Supreme Court is saying it will hear gay-rights cases starting in April asking them to rule that anyone in the United States can marry the partners of their choice regardless of their gender.

This would invalidate any state provisions that define marriage as being only between a man and a woman.

Not everyone is on board.

Jonathan Saenz with Texas Values says in part "The important questions on this matter are: 'What is marriage and who gets to decide?' Marriage is a union of one man and one woman and the issue is handled best when the people are allowed to vote."

We asked Deborah and Karen what they'll do if the court ends up saying they can get married after all this time.

"Toss her in a wheelchair and go down there. Definitely. I've been dreaming about this for years and years," Ellis said.

The Supreme Court is expected to start hearing the cases in April and make a ruling in June.