Will the Supreme Court Redefine Marriage?

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The battle over gay marriage is moving from the ballot box to the Supreme Court.

The High Court was expected to take up the issue Friday, just weeks after voters backed same-sex marriage in three states and defeated a ban in a fourth on Election Day.

However, the justices didn't address the issue Friday, taking up other cases instead.

What would it mean for the country if the Supreme Court struck down DOMA? Thomas Peters, cultural director for the National Organization for Marriage, has more, following this report.

The next opportunity for an announcement on how the Court will deal with gay marriage cases is Monday, though the justices could also put off a decision until their next private meeting in a week.

A big question is, when they do address the issue of homosexual marriage, what will it mean for the traditional definition of marriage?

The Supreme Court faces the argument that the institution of marriage should be redefined -- that the Constitution gives people the civil right to marry regardless of sexual orientation.

Voters in 31 states have amended their constitutions to prohibit homosexual marriage, with North Carolina being the most recent in May.

Voters also banned same-sex marriage in California by supporting Proposition 8, but federal courts struck it down. That ruling is on hold while the issue is being appealed.

If the Court rules in favor of gay marriage, that could lead to the overturning of every state constitutional provision and law banning same-sex marriage.

Pro-family activists say it's really a fight for the youth of the country.

"It's all about education of children," Republican Maryland Delegate Don Dwyer told CBN's The Brody File. "That's what it really boils down to. It's about the re-definition of the word marriage so that it can be taught in the public schools as a normal sexual lifestyle."

"It's taught in the schools to young children," said Frank Schubert, a campaign strategist for traditional marriage. "People who believe that marriage is as God designed it are punished; they're sued; they're brought before human rights commissions. There's all kinds of consequences that befall us."

Same-sex marriage is legal, or will be soon, in nine states and the District of Columbia.

Homosexual marriage supporters are also challenging the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1996. DOMA defines marriage for all purposes, including federal benefits, as between a man and a woman.

Four federal district courts and two appeals courts have overturned the provision.

The Obama administration announced last year that it no longer would defend DOMA. In May, the president officially endorsed gay marriage.

Republicans in the House of Representatives have stepped in to defend the law in court.

Any homosexual marriage cases probably would be argued before the Supreme Court in March, with a decision expected by the end of June.

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CBN News
Mark Martin

Mark Martin

CBN News Reporter

Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/MarkMartinCBN.