SUPREME COURT: What's at stake on DOMA Day? - KMSP-TV

SUPREME COURT: What's at stake on DOMA Day?

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  • Marriage rights in Supreme Court: What's the Minnesota impact?

    Marriage rights in Supreme Court: What's the Minnesota impact?

    Tuesday, March 26 2013 3:31 PM EDT2013-03-26 19:31:44 GMT
    Lawyers argued before the United States Supreme Court on Tuesday over the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.
    Lawyers argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday over the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. Marriage equality group Minnesotans United said the Court's ruling is unlikely to have a direct impact on the legal status of same-sex couples in Minnesota, but Minnesota for Marriage said the case - no matter the outcome - will have an impact in the state.
(FOX NEWS) -

The focus of the U.S. Supreme Court justices shifted Wednesday to how the federal government views same-sex marriages and whether the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, violates the Constitution

It will, no doubt, be another boisterous day outside the Supreme Court. But for all of the emotion, anyone looking for a sweeping victory may leave disappointed.

Inside the court Tuesday, as the justices took up California's Prop 8 banning same-sex marriage, the ideological lines were there, but there was also an undercurrent of doubt as to whether the court should even take up the matter or simply leave it to states and lower courts.

But Justice Elena Kagan asked a critical question for advocates of same-sex marriage.

"What harm you see happening, and when and how -- what harm to the institution of marriage or to opposite sex couples -- how does this cause and effect work?" Kagan asked.

Chief Justice John Roberts, though, asked whether this was simply a matter of labels and changing their meaning.

"If you tell a child that somebody has to be their friend, I suppose you can force the child to say this is my friend, but it changes the definition of what it means to be a friend," Robert argued.

But as is so often the case at the court, many eyes were on Justice Anthony Kennedy, seen as the potential swing vote. While he questioned whether the court should intervene at all, he brought up the children of same-sex couples.

"They want their parents to have full recognition and full status," Kennedy said. "The voice of those children is important in this case, don't you think?"

Wednesday the court essentially hits a reset button, moving on to the second case. But just like Tuesday's case, the justices will no doubt ask whether they should be ruling on this at all.

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