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Protesters gather as Supreme Court hears gay marriage arguments Special

By Leigh Goessl     Mar 26, 2013 in World
Washington - Thousands of people gathered in front of the Supreme Court today as arguments commenced in the nation's highest court over same-sex marriage for the first time. Demonstrators from both sides of the issue arrived throughout the day.
Today oral arguments began for the first of two cases currently in front of the Supreme Court.
As Digital Journal reported in January, the first case, Hollingsworth vs. Perry, focuses on California Proposition 8. The second case, United States vs. Windsor, is in regards to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); the latter will be heard tomorrow.
A limited number of people were allowed inside the Supreme Court, so most people gathered outside. Local media has been reporting that people have been standing in line since last week, even paying individuals hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of dollars to hold a place in line in order to get a coveted seat.
As Court heard what Reuters (courtesy of Chicago Tribune) describes as a "spirited" 80-minute oral argument on whether or not to allow a California ban on same-sex marriage stand, people on both sides of the issue gathered outside. It seemed to be a peaceful assembly with many discussions between opponents going on. This reporter arrived after a larger group reportedly assembled earlier in the morning.
Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage: Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington. California briefly allowed same-sex marriage, but then it was overturned (Proposition 8). Reportedly, 18,000 couples in that state were married during the five months it was legal; these remain valid.
Currently, 30 states ban same-sex marriage in state constitutions and 10 of them prohibit gay marriage under state laws, reported Yahoo! News.
The Supreme Court ruling may determine whether or not same-sex couples can marry. Reportedly, the Supreme Court was reluctant to rule broadly. Media reports also indicated the judges appear to be closely split on the issue.
Reuters reported decisions on both cases are not expected until June 2013.
More about Protest, Gay marriage, Supreme court, US Supreme Court, Proposition 8
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