April 21, 2014 07:04 UTC

In the News

Same-Sex Marriage Faced a Serious Test this Week in the United States

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases that could affect the acceptance of same-sex marriage in the United States.

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From VOA Learning English, this is IN THE NEWS.

 
Thousands of peaceful demonstrators gathered outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC this week. They were there to show their support for or opposition to same sex marriage. They hoped to have an effect on the justices inside who spent two days listening to arguments.
 
One case seeks to block California’s 2008 ballot measure known as Proposition 8. The measure banned same sex marriage in the state.
 
The second case involves a 1996 law known as the Defense of Marriage Act. It defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. It also denies same sex couples certain federal benefits that married heterosexuals receive. They include Social Security survivor payments and certain tax deductions.
 
Attorney Ted Olson represented California gay couples who want to marry. He spoke after the hearing.
 
“The broadest that argument we made is that it is just wrong. It is not consistent with the ideals, and the laws and the constitution of this country to take our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and put them in a class and deny them rights that we give to everyone else.”
 
Attorney Charles Cooper argued in support of the ban against same sex marriage.
 
“We believe that Proposition 8 is constitutional and that the place for the decision to be made regarding redefining marriage is with the people, not with the courts.”
 
John Lewis opposes the ban. He wants the court to settle the issue once and for all.

“We are Americans. And we are here on the steps of the United States Supreme Court because every single American, without exception, should have the freedom to marry the person that they love.”
 
Gay rights activist Michelle Bailey was also there.
 
“I was born here. I pay taxes. I deserve equal rights.”
 
Dominic Parisi and his husband Dan Zimmerman also came out to show their support for same sex marriage. Mr. Parisi said the show of support in front of the Supreme Court sends a message to government leaders.
 
“I see the country going much faster than the court. We have been together for 29 years. Actually, I’ve been going faster than the court for many years, so I think it’s time for the court to catch up.”
 
Dan Zimmerman said the push for gay rights is a grassroots effort led by the people.
 
“I think basically the people are going to have to drag the politicians after them. I am surprised that the country has reached this point, but proud that we have.”
 
Recent public opinion studies show a major change in attitudes towards gay marriage over the past several years. Some reports put support for gay marriage at more than 50 percent. Nine states and Washington, DC currently recognize same sex marriage.
 
But even with the change in public opinion, a large number of Americans still resist same-sex marriage. Peter Sprigg is with the Family Research Council, a conservative activist group in Washington.
 
“Society needs children. Children need a mom and dad. That is why we think marriage should be defined as the union of one man and one woman.”
 
Shirley Phelps-Roper belongs to an anti-gay church in Kansas. She also made the trip to Washington to show her opposition.
 
“When the Supreme Court does this thing, it’s going to be the last straw. This nation’s destruction is imminent.”
 
Andrew Pugno is with the Protect Marriage Coalition. He worries that the court could rule in such a way that would open the way for gay marriage in all 50 states.
 
“A victory here for us means that this issue returns to the people and their legislatures and their elected representatives where the debate belongs.”
 
Several members of the high court are considering the issue with care, including Justice Samuel Alito.
 
“You want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution, which is newer than cellphones or the internet?”
 
Rulings in both cases are expected at the end of June. No matter the decision, supporters of same sex marriage outside the court said this week will be remembered as a historic moment in the struggle for equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans.





 
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Robert from: europe
04/05/2013 5:23 PM
In my humble opinion the world wide people, has it own personal opinion and they didnt care at all what the almighty and the highest one that is in heaven think about it. Im not a religious people, but i have found in the holy scripture that is a complet desorder marriage of the same sex. Saint paul saids that no homosexual can heritage the kingdom of god. But the gay people do what ever they want. THE EYE OF THE ALMIGHTY ONE ITS UPON EVERY SINGLE PEOPLE IN HEARTH, so its up to you.....


by: ABAYISENGA from: Eric
04/05/2013 1:44 PM
i don't undesternd why this court can't accept


by: kika from: spain
04/03/2013 5:43 PM
In Spain they can get married. I agree. They are citicents, people, humans... like I am. I don´t understand why they can´t get marriaged and to have the same rights that we have in all the countries. Does a widow bring up her or his children? Does it necesary a couple? So, does a child need a father and a mother?
Please, lets open our minds... The world needs much more love even if the love comes from gays or lesvians or heteros


by: Obeid from: UK
03/31/2013 6:37 PM
I just have one question for these people supporting same sex marriage law, will this marriage product kids by making sex???
Of course NO. So, there is no need to legalise that to protect the kids and the society. and any one can write a will to inherit someone so the demandsof the same sex supporters in order to inherite each other can be done without marriage document.
Also, has anyone seen a male aninmal make sex with a male animal ???? so it is a shame on human beings (with brains) to accept something which is banned in animal laws (without brains)

In Response

by: LK
04/02/2013 2:02 PM
I completely agree with you!!!

In Response

by: HUNG from: UK
04/05/2013 8:21 AM
I agree with u. this society needs to grow up and this type cannot make

In Response

by: obeid from: UK
04/04/2013 3:51 AM
Thanks

In Response

by: ezel
04/04/2013 11:06 PM
u r totally right


by: BIJU.P.Y. from: SOUTH INDIA
03/30/2013 2:37 PM
No man is complete by himself or herself. He or she becomes complete only when she or he gets united through marriage. And to resort to divorce is to admit defeat. It is only through marriage that the institution of family becomes prominent in society. The family is the ideal institution upon which an ideal nation is built. The affection of a father to ward his son and toward his wife is different like day and night. It is only when he has gone through all these different varieties of love that he becomes a perfect human being. To give greenlight to gay men and lesbian means to sacrifice society at the cost of sexual anarchy. I think America will uphold her moral values above flesh love. Thank you.


by: MARCELO from: CALERA, ZAC. MEXICO
03/29/2013 11:21 PM
I am agree that thay deserve the same rights, but how the gay and the lesbian americans could to teach good values to the children, the basis of the future. it´s an crucial issue, so my vote is to the decision of the supreme court. against the marriage between same sex couples.

In Response

by: irene from: italy
04/03/2013 3:07 PM
In my opinion Nobody must deny the opportunity to join in marriage two people that they love each other, beyond the sex. Especially in that great democracy as the United States which have teach to over the world the value of equality between people.
Love is a great value , love is a positive value and when there is love nothing is wrong.
I'm not scared of love between two men and two women, I'm scared about hate and human stupidity

In Response

by: Claudiomiro from: Brazil
04/02/2013 1:58 PM
I agree that same sex marriage should be denied, because it is contrary to the the natural of the human being. The man and the woman should form a family according to Divine Law.

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