Supreme Court Hears Arguments For, Against Prop. 8

The Supreme Court begins hearing arguments on California


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For days, hundreds have camped out for the chance to be inside when the Supreme Court begins hearing arguments on California's Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage.

Arguments over the constitutionality of Prop. 8--also known as Hollingsworth v. Perry--begin Tuesday morning.

Whichever way the court decides, it should be a landmark ruling, by either protecting gay Americans' right to marry or upholding the ban and pushing the gay rights movement back years.

According to CBS, the Supreme Court has five options to choose from when deciding this case:

-The Supreme Court could use Hollingsworth v. Perry to rule that marriage is a constitutional right available to all Americans, gay or straight.

-The court could declare that same-sex marriage is not protected by the Constitution.

-The Supreme Court may decide that states that recognize same-sex civil unions or domestic partnerships--and provide them with nearly the same benefits of marriage--cannot legitimately bar same-sex marriage.

-The Supreme Court ruling could apply just to California because of the case's unique circumstances.

-The court could decide the proponents of Proposition 8 have no standing in court and dismiss the case entirely.

Hollingsworth v. Perry is the first of two cases this week challenging the "traditional" definition of marriage; the court will hear arguments against the constitutionality of a section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Wednesday. Court watchers say that while Wednesday's case (United States v. Windsor) is important, the outcome of the preceding Prop. 8 case is most important.

""The Prop. 8 case has the potential to be the Brown v. Board of Education for gay rights," UCLA School of Law Prof. Adam Winkler told CBS.

A Washington Post poll shows a narrow majority of 58 percent supports the right for every American to marry.

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