News / USA

US Supreme Court Considers Gay Marriage

US Supreme Court Considers Gay Marriagei
X
March 27, 2013 1:08 AM
The U.S. Supreme Court plunged into the controversial issue of same sex marriage Tuesday. The high court heard the first of two cases related to gay marriage that could shift the legal and political landscape. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone was at the Supreme Court and has the story.
US Supreme Court Considers Gay Marriage
The U.S. Supreme Court plunged into the controversial issue of same sex marriage Tuesday.  The high court heard the first of two cases related to gay marriage that could shift the legal and political landscape.

A huge crowd both for and against gay marriage swarmed outside the Supreme Court, eager to take part in what may turn out to be a pivotal moment in the struggle for equal rights for gay Americans.

At issue is California’s ban on gay marriage, the first of two cases the high court will take up this week that could clarify the rights for same sex couples to marry.

Among those supporting gay marriage is the Reverend Darryl Kistler from California.

“I have a lot of gay and lesbian people in my congregation, family members who are gay and lesbian, a lot of deep friends and good friends who are gay and lesbian, so, since they're not here, I feel like I carry then with my heart and am here to speak for them and to stand up for them," he said.

Recent polls show growing support for gay marriage around the country.  At the moment only nine states and the District of Columbia recognize same sex marriages.

But supporters of traditional marriage were also out in force Tuesday, staging a march in front of the Supreme Court and insisting that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

Ann Cohrs was among them.

“They can do what they do," she said. "They can live the way they want to live.  But they cannot turn society upside down.  It is wrong.”

The demonstrators were peaceful and included members of an anti-gay church from Kansas.

“When the Supreme Court does this thing, it’s going to be the last straw," she said. "This nation’s destruction is imminent.”

Inside the high court, questions from some of the nine justices to attorneys on both sides suggested the court might not issue a sweeping decision either way.

Among those challenging California’s ban on gay marriage is Paul Katami, who wants to marry his lover.

“This case has been about securing the right to marry the person that I love and also having the equal access to the most important relationship that I know in life, and that’s marriage," he said.

But opponents of gay marriage like attorney Andrew Pugno hope the Supreme Court does not issue a ruling that could open the way to same sex marriages in all 50 states.

“And so a victory here for us means that this issue returns to the people and their legislatures and their elected representatives where the debate belongs," he said.

In a second case on Wednesday, the high court will consider a 1996 federal law that defines marriage solely as between a man and a woman.

Rulings in both cases are expected by the end of June.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid