ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. Supreme Court justices signaled on Tuesday (March 26) that they are reluctant to embrace a broad ruling finding a fundamental right to marriage for gays and lesbians across the United States. Audio transcripts of the arguments were released after the court completed more than an hour of oral arguments on whether to let a California ban on same-sex marriage stand without indicating a clear path forward. Justice Samuel Alito urged caution, noting that gay marriage as a concept is "newer than cellphones and the Internet." "Traditional marriage has been around for thousands of years. Same-sex marriage is very new. I think it was first adopted in the Netherlands in 2000. So there isn't a lot of data about its effect. And it may turn out to be a -- a good thing; it may turn out not to be a good thing, as the supporters of Proposition 8 apparently believe. But you want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution which is newer than cell phones or the Internet?" Alito said. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who court observers expect to be the swing vote, also raised concerns about the court entering "uncharted waters" on an issue that divides the states.
March 26 - U.S. Supreme Court justices signaled on Tuesday that they are reluctant to embrace a broad ruling on gay marriage. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). ( Transcript )
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