News+Politics March 26, 2013
Battle Over Marriage Equality In America Goes Before U.S. Supreme Court


The battle in America over marriage equality is before the United States Supreme Court for the next two days.

As you'd expect, it's a huge story so we've collected some great pieces on both sides of the issue.

Today, the court is hearing arguments on whether the state of California can ban same-sex marriage.

Back in 2008, California legalized it and some 18,000 couples were married over the next several months - marriages that are still valid.

Later that same year, in a state referendum, a majority of Californians voted against the law - which led to a ban known as Proposition 8.

In 2009, two same-sex couples challenged Prop 8 and won - as a U.S. Federal Court said the ban infringed on the fundamental right of all couples to marry.

Prop 8 supporters appealed that, but a court of appeals also ruled the ban was unconstitutional.

From there, Prop 8 activists petitioned the Supreme Court, arguing the court should respect the decision of California voters and that each state should decide how marriage is defined - not the courts.


The Supreme Court could uphold the ban, strike it down, extend marriage rights to everyone in the U.S., or dismiss the case with no ruling at all.

You can read more about that last option in this Toronto Star story entitled Top Court In U.S. May Duck Same-Sex Marriage Ruling.

Tomorrow, the court will hear another case - challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, a U.S. federal law.

It defines marriage as between a man and a woman only, and denies federal tax and other benefits to same-sex married couples.

Former President Bill Clinton, who signed the Act into law in 1996, says the court should throw it out. President Barack Obama agrees.


Public opinion polls suggest support for marriage equality is growing quickly - with a majority of Americans now believing it should be legal.

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in Washington D.C. and nine states - Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington.

Eight others allow civil unions or domestic partnerships with nearly all state marriage benefits.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule sometime in late June. And a promised, here are some pieces you might want to check out.

The Washington Post by Chris Cillizza & Sean Sullivan - How Proposition 8 Passed In California And Why It Wouldn't Today

Mother Jones by Tim Murphy & Dana Liebelson - Which Politicians Supported Gay Marriage And When?

CBC News by Keith Boag - Will The U.S. Supreme Court Bless Same-Sex Marriage?

The Globe & Mail by Konrad Yakabuski - Gay Marriage Is A Non-Issue In Canada But It Still Riles America

The Christian Post by Napp Nazworth - Supreme Court Expected To Decide Whether Constitution Requires States To Legalize Gay Marriage

The New York Times by Peter Baker - Now In Defense Of Gay Marriage, Bill Clinton

The Yale Daily News by Will Portman (via The Guardian) - Coming Out: My Story As A Senator's Son

The New York Post by Rich Lowry - The Gay Marriage Stakes Shift

The Los Angeles Times by David G. Savage and Maura Dolan - Supreme Court Has Menu Of Options In Gay Marriage Case also has a map showing where same-sex marriage is legal around the world. You can check it out right here.

Related stories

6th Grade Boy In Rhode Island Gaves Amazing Speech In Support Of Marriage Equality

Former U.S. Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton Endorses Marriage Equality For Same-Sex Couples

Prominent U.S. Republican Senator Says "I've Changed My Mind" On Marriage Equality



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