The highest court in the U.S. is set to hear arguments over the legality of same-sex marriage, capping more than two decades of litigation and a transformation in public attitudes. Gavino Garay reports.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a potentially historic case on Tuesday over the legality of same-sex marriage, in oral arguments that will cap more than two decades of litigation over the issue. Based on how the court has ruled during the past two years, there's a sense of inevitability in the air ... that a majority is on the verge of declaring gay marriage legal across the U.S. The case, Obergefell v. Hodges, comes amid a transformation in U.S. public attitudes towards gay marriage. But among many social conservatives -- and same sex marriage opponents who recently took to the U.S. Capitol -- support for legislation BANNING gay marriage remains strong. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARY ELLEN JAVIE, DEMONSTRATOR, SAYING: "Politicians should step back and really look at to see what is good and what is truth . And really not impose what is so unnatural on the rest of us." In the past, when states appealed rulings that STRUCK DOWN their same-sex marriage bans, the Supreme Court largely declined to intervene. But on Tuesday, the nine justices are hearing oral arguments over an appeal that UPHELD gay marriage bans in four states. How they eventually rule in the case could open the doors to legalizing gay marriage across the country. Family Research Council Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PETER SPRIGG, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL SENIOR FELLOW, SAYING: "We simply think that the government should not actively affirm, celebrate and subsidize those relationships by redefining marriage and should not be actively punishing the people who happen to disagree or disapprove of homosexual conduct." Yet questions remain. It's unclear how Justice Anthony Kennedy -- who is in the conservative camp but has taken the lead on gay rights -- will 'show his hand' in the 2-1/2 hours of oral arguments. Officials expect the courtroom to be packed to its 400-seat capacity. Lines for general spectator seats began forming around 6 a.m. on Friday, more than four days before the oral arguments begin.