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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More