Supreme Court justices signaled on Tuesday that they are reluctant to embrace a broad ruling finding a fundamental right to marriage for gays and lesbians across the United States.
As sign-waving demonstrators massed outside, the court completed more than an hour of oral argument on whether to let stand a California ban on same-sex marriage without indicating a clear path forward.
Live updates / Audio of today’s hearing / Transcript
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for two gay marriage cases, DOMA and Prop 8, on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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Photo: REUTERS/Allison Joyce
FLASH: U.S. Supreme Court to review whether California gay marriage ban violates constitution
Playing chicken with the First Amendment: Chick-fil-A set off a firestorm when it took aim at gay marriage; boycotts were immediately called and the Muppets were caught in the middle. But did the chicken officially cross the free speech line when mayors talked about boycotting the fast food chain?
The ninth Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for the Supreme Court to consider California’s gay marriage ban, declining an appeal to revisit the case.
Supporters of the 2008 ban have lost two rounds in federal court but have made clear they will appeal to the Supreme Court and hope for a favorable response from the conservative court.
DEVELOPING: Prop 8 case looks to be headed to Supreme Court
A federal appeals court in Boston found on Thursday that a U.S. law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples in a ruling that promises to push the issue of gay marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The ruling on the 1996 law, the Defense of Marriage Act, marked a victory for gay rights groups and U.S. President Barack Obama, whose administration announced last year it considered the law unconstitutional and would no longer defend it.
A new Gallup poll shows sentiment on the legality of same-sex marriage is close, with 50% of people surveyed in favor of the law recognizing same-sex marriages as valid, while 48% of those surveyed think it should not be valid.
The poll shows, politically, the most support for same-sex marriage comes from those who identify as Democrats. Most who identify as Republicans came out in opposition to same-sex marriage. [REUTERS]
During an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama said he believed same-sex marriage should be legal.
Pope Benedict on Friday denounced the “powerful political and cultural currents” seeking to legalize gay marriage in the United States, where Maryland has just become the eighth state to allow it.
The pope’s latest comments in opposition to homosexual marriage came in an address to bishops from several Midwestern states on a regular visit to the Vatican.
“Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage,” he said.
He added that the traditional family and marriage had to be “defended from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature” because, he said, whatever injured families injured society.
Washington state Governor Christine Gregoire signed legislation on Monday to legalize gay marriage, putting the state on track to become the seventh in the nation to recognize same-sex matrimony.
But the measure, which won final approval from state lawmakers last Wednesday, cannot take effect before early June, following a standard enactment period that runs until 90 days after the end of Washington’s legislative session.