Going Courting: Justices Hear Gay Marriage Case

Attorneys seeking to overturn California's voter-approved same-sex marriage ban tried to persuade a skeptical panel of justices that the public's right to change the state constitution should not extend to depriving a minority group of the right to wed.
With thousands demonstrating outside, the California Supreme Court appeared reluctant during three hours of arguments to override Proposition 8. One justice said the people have a "very, very broad, well-established" authority to amend the state's governing framework at the ballot box.
Associate Justice Joyce Kennard says the judges' power is very limited to override the will of voters. Kennard was in the court majority that ruled just 10 months ago that prohibiting gay marriage violated civil rights.
Chief Justice Ron George, also among the four justices who last year voted in favor of gay marriage, echoed Kennard's qualms. George says it is up to the Legislature or voters -- not the court -- to make the process more difficult.

Closer to home, activists on both sides of the issue gathered to watch the hearing with friends. In Rancho Penasquitos, nearly a dozen supporters of Prop 8 watched on a computer feed at a home, while in Hillcrest at the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Center, dozens of people who opposed Proposition 8 gathered to watch on a projector inside the center's library.
While the two sides disagree on the definition of marriage, they do agree on one thing: The issue has dragged on long enough.

"It's hurting so many people," same-sex marriage supporter Marissa Piper-Young said. "It's dividing communities and families. I can't stand watching it anymore. I'm sick of it."

"Democracy is being undermined by all three branches of the government, and it's really frustrating when the governor says we should really repeal the vote of the people," said same-sex marriage opponent Liz Agle.

The justices have 90 days to make a ruling on this case.

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