Marriage Equality Explained Panel Talks at CBC - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Marriage Equality Explained Panel Talks at CBC

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PASCO, Wash.-- Washington voters approved same sex marriage back in November, but lots of people still have questions about the issue.

A panel Saturday answered some of those questions at Columbia Basin College in Pasco.

Panelists explained how the federal government doesn't recognize gay marriage.

Meaning gay couples can't get the same financial benefits that heterosexual couples receive.

Also a hot topic in the area this week, businesses in the state cannot refuse service to gay couples because of their orientation.

However, religious groups can deny marrying gay couples if it conflicts with their beliefs.

"Just because Washington recognizes marriage doesn't mean Idaho, Oregon or most of the other states in our nation will recognize it. But we're in a time of great change and the Supreme Court decision that comes down in June could change everything we say today in regards to the federal government in discriminating," said Jill Mullins, panelist.

The upcoming Supreme Court ruling could stop the federal government from interfering with state's definitions of marriage, which would allow gay couples to get full spouse privileges.

NBC Right Now anchor Shane Edinger moderated the event.