SAN FRANCISCO (BP)--A panel for the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Monday in a high-profile case that could lead to all 50 states being forced to recognize "gay marriage."
"The key reason that marriage has existed at all in any society and at any time is that sexual relationships between men and women naturally produce children."
-- Attorney Charles Cooper
The three-judge panel posed questions to both sides for more than two hours and didn't give much indication as to how or when they might rule, although the questioning did appear to follow each judge's ideology.
At issue is California Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment passed by voters of that state in 2008 that defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. Its passage reversed a state Supreme Court ruling that had legalized "gay marriage."
A lower court this year ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional, and if that decision is allowed to stand, the statutes and constitutional amendments in the 45 states that define marriage in the traditional sense could be in jeopardy. Five states recognize "gay marriage."
California is one of 31 states that have decided the issue at the ballot, with the traditional definition winning in each instance. Read More