The Supreme Court Tuesday (March 26) took on the gay marriage debate with a case brought by defenders of California's Prop. 8. The proposition, passed by voters in 2008, amended the state's Constitution to include a ban on same-sex marriage. The California Supreme Court initially upheld the ballot initiative, but in 2010 Prop. 8 was overturned and declared unconstitutional by a federal district court judge. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit agreed with that ruling.
The State of California declined to defend the proposition in court, so Prop. 8 is being represented by an independent group, who asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. Tuesday, after a number of interested parties submitted briefs, the court heard arguments for and against the amendment, as well as arguments about whether SCOTUS even has jurisdiction to rule on the matter. The justices's statements during the arguments seemed to indicate the Supreme Court is not ready to issue a ruling that will change the laws on same-sex marriage nationwide.
Many stood in line for days to get a seat in the courtroom, and the gallery was permitted to witness arguments in three-minute increments. Fortunately, the entire proceeding was recorded, and the full audio of the arguments is below. The court is expected to issue a ruling by late June.
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