Supreme Court might sidestep major ruling on gay marriage

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March 26, 2013, 5:18 pm
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(NECN/NBC News: Steve Handelsman) - Thousands of people gathered outside the Supreme Court Tuesday holding signs that read "equality" and chanting in favor of same sex marriage.

Not far away, supporters of California's Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage marched to the court steps.

Kristen Perry and Sandy Stier are a same-sex couple who call the law unconstitutional.

"It hurts the children we're raising for no good reason," Stier claims.

Some of the most emotional pleas Tuesday for the court to overturn Proposition 8 came from their son.

"We love them. We love our family and we look forward to the day when we will be treated equally just like our neighbors families," said Spencer Perry.

Supporters of California's gay marriage ban argue the law protects the traditional notion of marriage and its intent to encourage procreation.

Inside the court, Justices Kennedy and Kagan questioned whether anyone would be harmed by allowing same sex couples to marry.

Justice Breyer also questioned why it would be constitutional to prevent just this group from marriage.

Chief Justice John Roberts had a different take, saying "we don't have to include everybody."

And Justice Scalia asked when defining marriage as between a man and woman "became unconstitutional."

Before the justices can even rule whether Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, they first have to decide whether supporters defending the law in court even have the standing to do so.

A decision is expected in June.

Tags: Supreme Court, gay marriage, Steve Handelsman, NBC news
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