SCOTUS Takes It Slow On Gay Marriage

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty

Marriage equality supporters take part in a march and rally ahead of US Supreme Court arguments on legalizing same-sex marriage in New York on March 24, 2013. The US Supreme Court will consider the divisive issue of legalizing same-sex marriage, in a hotly anticipated hearing on March 26 and 27 that could have historic consequences for American family life. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on two cases related to the right to marry. These two cases, which concern the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8, are fundamentally about whether gay and lesbian Americans can enjoy the same freedoms and opportunities as everyone else.

Oral arguments can be misleading, but the Supreme Court seemed to be treading carefully in the first day of discussions on marriage equality. Justice Anthony Kennedy--likely the deciding vote--wondered whether the court should have even heard the challenge to Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage. Kennedy also warned that it could be too soon to know what the social effects of same-sex marriage might be, saying that “we have five years of information to pose against 2,000 years of history." However, Kennedy also said that the children of same-sex couples "want their parents to have full recognition and full status."