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

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid