Protesters on both sides of the gay marriage debate have been rallying outside the California Supreme Court.
The justices heard oral arguments, Thursday, on the legality of Proposition 8 the voter-approved marriage amendment. The case is expected to be the most widely watched in a California in decades.
Opponents of Prop 8 argued the law is illegal because it revises and fundamentally changes the state constitution.
What will the U.S. reaction be if the court overturns Prop 8? Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council gave CBN News his thoughts. Click the player to watch.
The justices challenged that idea and one reminded lawyers that Prop 8 does not take away domestic partnership benefits from gay couples.
"Mr. Minter, assuming the initiative only affects the nomenclature and not the pertinent benefits, would you explain to the court how that's a revision rather than a mere amendment?" Chief Justice Ron George asked of attorney Shannon Minter.
"The core of our argument is that a simple majority cannot take away rights from a historically disadvantaged minority," Minter responded.
Lawyers representing supporters of Prop 8 agreed that the initiative does not revise the constitution and they argued for the rights of voters.
The justices must also decide within 90 days whether the thousands of gay marriages performed in California last year are legal. Based on history, they will likely do it sooner.
The November measure countered the state Supreme Court's 4-3 decision last May that recognized gays as a minority group entitled to judicial protection. The ruling established marriage as a fundamental right to homosexuals.