Category: US Politics / March 26, 2013 1:29 PM EDT
Demonstrators gathered outside America's top court on Tuesday (March 26) as the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices prepare to take up the sensitive issue of gay marriage.
The court is set to debate the legality of a California ballot initiative that bans gay marriage, limiting the institution to opposite-sex couples.
Tuesday, March 26th, is the first of two days of oral arguments, and on Wednesday, the court will consider the 1996 Federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as strictly between a man and a woman.
People have lined up for days to either share their support or voice their opposition.
"I hope that the Court will take a stand and actually address the issue at hand. That their ruling will not be narrow and that they will make it clear that, A: Marriage is a fundamental right, that men can marry men, women can marry women and that love is what matters," said one supporter for gay marriage, Rochelle Rueben.
"We said 'I do' last September and it's an entirely different feeling. I feel like I'm equal in some ways, in more ways than what I had been and I wish everyone could feel that same equality," said Lamar Matthew who was outside the Court with his husband, Harry Scott.
Some still strongly oppose gay marriage, both Republicans in Congress and in many states across the United States.
30 states, including California, have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. But, nine states, also including California, recognize domestic partnerships or civil unions among gay couples.
"It's really not about politics and it's not about equal rights. It's just about the definition of marriage and what it is and I feel sad that there is so much contention about it, and I'm sorry that our homosexual friends feel that they are being deprived of something, but that's just the definition, you have to go with that," said Heidi Rombola, after marching to the Court with hundreds of anti-gay marriage demonstrators.
"We are just standing up for what we believe marriage to be. Marriage is the union of a man and woman. Nature itself attests to that fact, I mean you can only have a child from a man and a woman," added Carol Joannides.
Rulings in both cases are expected by the end of June.
Video Source: Reuters