There is no denying that there has been a significant shift in support for same-sex marriage. For the first time in history a majority of Americans support it. According to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll 51% are in favor of same sex marriage. Lawmakers are also clearly shifting their opinion as both Republicans and Democrats are voicing their support for same-sex marriage.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard about 90 minutes of oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the suit over California's Proposition 8 that bans same sex marriage. They are fighting for marriage equality and say the opportunity must be as open to same sex couple as to any straight couple. Some are hoping for a sweeping ruling that would be nationwide, but reading the tea leaves from inside the court today the Justices may not be ready to go that far. "It's an understatement to say the court is not going to have a sweeping ruling on gay rights, one way or the other. There didn't seem to be a clear majority here to uphold prop 8 or a clear majority to strike it down," NBC's Pete Williams explained about the courtroom today.
So why aren't we going to get the 50 state solution that liberals were hoping for? "Politics, that's the only reason," Huffington Post Mike Sacks says, "and two more words: Justice Kennedy." During the oral arguments Justice Kennedy made a comment that maybe the court should never have taken this case to begin with. So if the court dismisses it as improvidently granted which means "that the lower court ruling would stand that declared Prop 8 unconstitutional," Pete Williams explains. "Marriage could resume in California but it would have no impact anywhere else and probably have very little to say about gay rights one way or the other."
Wednesday, we will hear the arguments in the Defense of Marriage Act case where Pete Williams believes "the court will probably be a little bit more definite about whether the federal government can define marriage or whether it will leave that to the states."