March 26 - The Supreme Court takes up the thorny issue of issue of gay marriage for the first time, hearing arguments in a challenge to California's ban on same-sex marriage known as Proposition 8. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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The Supreme Court took up the thorny issue of issue of gay marriage for the first time Tuesday hearing arguments in a challenge to California's ban on same-sex marriage known as Proposition 8.
David Bois represents the plaintiffs in the case.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID BOIES, LAWYER FOR THE PLAINTIFFS ARGUING AGAINST PROP 8, SAYING:
"I think the most remarkable thing that happened in there was that there was no attempt to defend the ban on gay and lesbian marriage. There was no indication of any harm. All that was said in there was that this important constitutional right ought to be decided on the state level as opposed to the federal government."'
On Wednesday the court will take up the Defense of Marriage Act, which limits marriage to opposite sex couples.
Over the two days of arguments, the justices will have their say on what gay activists see as a civil rights issue reminiscent of when the court invalidated bans on interracial marriage.
Rulings in both cases are expected by the end of June.
Charles Cooper represented gay marriage opponents before the high court.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHARLES COOPER REPRESENTS GAY MARRIAGE OPPONENTS, SAYING:
"We believe that Proposition 8 is constitutional and the pace for the decision to be made regarding people is with the people, not with the courts. "
Nine state and the District of Colombia have legalized gay marriage.
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