Justices debate Gay Marriage

March 27, 2013, 2:06 PM GMT+0

The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday regarding California’s Proposition 8 which banned same-sex marriage in that state.

As part of a case with the potential to broadly affect the status of gay marriage in the United States, the Supreme Court Justices raised powerful questions for those arguing on behalf and against Proposition 8. We present a selection of these questions.

1. Justice Elena Kagan:

“In reading the briefs, it seems as though your principal argument is that same-sex and opposite-sex couples are not similarly situated because opposite-sex couples can procreate, same-sex couples cannot, and the State's principal interest in marriage is in regulating procreation. Is that basically correct?”

2. Chief Justice John Roberts:

“If you tell a child that somebody has to be their friend, I suppose you can force the child to say, this is my friend, but it changes the definition of what it means to be a friend. And that's it seems to me what supporters of Proposition 8 are saying here. You're — all you're interested in is the label and you insist on changing the definition of the label.”

3. Justice Antonin Scalia:

“If you redefine marriage to include same-sex couples, you must — you must permit adoption by same-sex couples, and there's considerable disagreement among sociologists as to what the consequences of raising a child in a single-sex family, whether that is harmful to the child or not.”

4. Justice Sonia Sotomayor:

“Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits or imposing burdens on them? Is there any other rational decision-making that the government could make? Denying them a job, not granting them benefits of some sort, any other decision?”

What do you think of Justices Kagan, Roberts, Scalia and Sotomayor?

Elena Kagan

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John Roberts

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Antonin Scalia

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Sonia Sotomayor

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