Court Could Avoid Ruling on Gay Marriage Ban - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Court Could Avoid Ruling on Gay Marriage Ban

Posted: Updated:
Marcus, left, and Daniel German-Dominguez stand outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, before the court's hearing on California’s voter approved ban on same-sex marriage. Marcus, left, and Daniel German-Dominguez stand outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, before the court's hearing on California’s voter approved ban on same-sex marriage.

WASHINGTON (AP)— The Supreme Court suggested Tuesday it could find a way out of the case over California's ban on same-sex marriage without issuing a major national ruling on whether gays have a right to marry, an issue one justice described as newer than cellphones and the Internet.

Several justices, including some liberals who seemed open to gay marriage, raised doubts during a riveting 80-minute argument that the case was properly before them. And Justice Anthony Kennedy, the potentially decisive vote on a closely divided court, suggested that the court could dismiss the case with no ruling at all.

Such an outcome would almost certainly allow gay marriages to resume in California but would have no impact elsewhere.

Kennedy said he feared the court would go into "uncharted waters" if it embraced arguments advanced by gay marriage supporters. But lawyer Theodore Olson, representing two same-sex couples, said that the court similarly ventured into the unknown in 1967 when it struck down bans on interracial marriage in 16 states.

Kennedy challenged the accuracy of that comment by noting that other countries had had interracial marriages for hundreds of years.

There was no majority apparent for any particular outcome and many doubts expressed about the arguments advanced by lawyers for the opponents of gay marriage in California, by the supporters and by the Obama administration, which is in favor of same-sex marriage rights.

Kennedy made clear he did not like the rationale of the federal appeals court that struck down Proposition 8, the California ban, even though it cited earlier opinions in favor of gay rights that Kennedy wrote.

That appeals court ruling applied only to California, where same-sex couples briefly had the right to marry before voters adopted a constitutional amendment in November 2008 that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Several members of the court also were troubled by the Obama administration's main point that when states offer same-sex couples all the rights of marriage, as California and eight other states do, they also must allow marriage.

Justice Samuel Alito described gay marriage as newer than such rapidly changing technological advances as cellphones and the Internet, and appeared to advocate a more cautious approach to the issue.

"You want us to assess the effect of same-sex marriage," Alito said to Solicitor General Donald Verrilli. "It may turn out to be a good thing. It may turn out to be not a good thing."

Charles Cooper, representing the people who helped get Proposition 8 on the ballot, ran into similar resistance over his argument that the court should uphold the ban as a valid expression of the people's will and let the vigorous political debate over gay marriage continue.

Here, Kennedy suggested that Cooper's argument did not take account of the estimated 40,000 children who have same-sex parents. "The voices of these children are important, don't you think?" Kennedy said.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Hundreds March in Seaford Demanding "Justice for Germani"

    Hundreds March in Seaford Demanding "Justice for Germani"

    Apr 24, 2018 11:09 PM2018-04-25 03:09:00 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 11:20 PM EDT2018-04-25 03:20:40 GMT
    SEAFORD, Del.- Just weeks after nine-year-old Germani Truitt-Handy was killed during a hit and run accident, her family and friends marched the streets of Seaford demanding justice. Delaware State Police say 21 year old Dwyane McConnell of Seaford was theMore
    SEAFORD, Del.- Just weeks after nine-year-old Germani Truitt-Handy was killed during a hit and run accident, her family and friends marched the streets of Seaford demanding justice. Delaware State Police say 21 year old Dwyane McConnell of Seaford was theMore
  • Laurel Pastor Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

    Laurel Pastor Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

    Apr 25, 2018 4:17 PM2018-04-25 20:17:00 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 4:35 PM EDT2018-04-25 20:35:06 GMT
    Pastor Cesar M. Rios Martinez of Iglesia El Espiritu Santo in Salisbury arrested on child porn charges; Photo Credit: Delaware DOJPastor Cesar M. Rios Martinez of Iglesia El Espiritu Santo in Salisbury arrested on child porn charges; Photo Credit: Delaware DOJ
    Pastor Cesar M. Rios Martinez of Iglesia El Espiritu Santo in Salisbury arrested on child porn charges; Photo Credit: Delaware DOJPastor Cesar M. Rios Martinez of Iglesia El Espiritu Santo in Salisbury arrested on child porn charges; Photo Credit: Delaware DOJ
    LAUREL, Del. (WBOC/AP) - Authorities say a pastor at a church in Maryland has been arrested on child pornography charges.More
    LAUREL, Del. (WBOC/AP) - Authorities say a pastor at a church in Maryland has been arrested on child pornography charges.More
  • Two Arrested For Copper Wire Thefts in Delaware

    Two Arrested For Copper Wire Thefts in Delaware

    Apr 24, 2018 7:19 PM2018-04-24 23:19:00 GMT
    Tuesday, April 24 2018 7:24 PM EDT2018-04-24 23:24:44 GMT
    Taylor Provanchie (left) and Thomas Bradley, both of Harrington. Taylor Provanchie (left) and Thomas Bradley, both of Harrington.
    Taylor Provanchie (left) and Thomas Bradley, both of Harrington.Taylor Provanchie (left) and Thomas Bradley, both of Harrington.
    Delaware State Police have arrested two people in connection with multiple thefts of copper wire from commercial irrigation systems.More
    Delaware State Police have arrested two people in connection with multiple thefts of copper wire from commercial irrigation systems. More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • People March to Remember 9-Year-Old Germani Truitt and to Demand Justice

    People March to Remember 9-Year-Old Germani Truitt and to Demand Justice

    A family in Seaford is demanding justice after a nine-year-old was killed in a hit-and-run crash. Hundreds attended a march for Germani Truitt to remember her and to protest the fact that the driver who hit her is free on $6000 bond.

    More

    A family in Seaford is demanding justice after a nine-year-old was killed in a hit-and-run crash. Hundreds attended a march for Germani Truitt to remember her and to protest the fact that the driver who hit her is free on $6000 bond.

    More
  • Eleven Arrested in Georgetown Drug Bust

    Eleven Arrested in Georgetown Drug Bust

    Dover Police and Georgetown Police cooperated in a drug investigation that finished with the arrest of 11 people. Police say the bust started with the search of a building at the Dunbarton apartments in Georgetown on January 31. 

    More

    Dover Police and Georgetown Police cooperated in a drug investigation that finished with the arrest of 11 people. Police say the bust started with the search of a building at the Dunbarton apartments in Georgetown on January 31. 

    More
  • Bennett High School Students Transform Garbage into Garments

    Bennett High School Students Transform Garbage into Garments

    Students in James Bennett High School are turning trash into fashion.

    Art teacher Erin Davis led her Art 3 and 4 students in the third edition of “Project Runway Trashion Show” a STEM lesson where students create outfits and sculptures using trash and recyclable materials.

    More

    Students in James Bennett High School are turning trash into fashion.

    Art teacher Erin Davis led her Art 3 and 4 students in the third edition of “Project Runway Trashion Show” a STEM lesson where students create outfits and sculptures using trash and recyclable materials.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices