MEDFORD, Ore. — The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday on California’s ban on gay marriage, known as Proposition 8.
Challengers to Prop 8 argue the 14th amendment guarantees “equal protection”, so defining marriage as only between a man and a woman violates their equal rights. Some supporters of Prop 8 say voters, not the high court, should decide on gay marriage.
Local advocates and legal experts say they’ll be watching this case closely in the coming months. Bill Mansfield, a Medford attorney and expert in civil rights law, says that it is a big deal when the Supreme Court chooses to take on a case.
Out of 10,000 or so petitions each year, the court only takes around 75 or 80. At stake here is whether or not the issue of same-sex marriage is even subject to majority vote, and he says the passionate opinions outside the court should not have a big impact on the legal proceedings.
“Just entertainment. We all like to experss our opinions publicly, but hopefully it won’t affect the court,” said Mansfield.
While hearings take place Tuesday, the court isn’t expected to make a decision for another six to eight months. That decision will be binding, but it can still be reviewed again in the future.