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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid