Marriage on Trial: High Court Preps for Historic Cases

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The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in two major cases involving the same-sex marriage debate, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Just a few days ago a long line of people camped out in front of the Supreme Court to get a seat for this week's gay marriage battles. Many fear the rulings on the cases could open the doors for gay marriage nationwide.

On Tuesday, the justices will hear arguments challenging California's Proposition 8, a law approved by California voters in 2008 and by a California judge in 2010. It requires the state to recognize only marriages between a man and a woman.

Lawyers opposing Prop 8 will ask the High Court to strike down the law.

On the docket Wednesday are parts of the Defense of Marriage Act passed by Congress with a large majority in 1996. It prevents same-sex couples from receiving federal tax, pension, and other benefits available to married people.

Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced its support for gay marriage. Gay parents Jason Howe and Adrian Parez hope it will resonate with the justices.

"The important thing is that the child has two parents who are involved in his or her life, and not the sexual orientation of the parents," Howe said.

But some church leaders are warning that the legalization of gay marriage could end the institution of marriage itself.

"What I fear would happen is that people will just not be interested in marrying anymore. marriage will become irrelevant," Salvatore Cordileone, archbishop of San Francisco, said.

The archbishop said what the Church teaches about marriage will be viewed as prejudiced.

"If we want to know how people who do hold that view will be treated, we have to think about how a racial bigot is treated in the country today," he said.

Why is it so important for the Church to stand up for traditional marriage? Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church, spoke about this and more on Newswatch, March 25, following this report.

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