Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Both Sides of Gay Marriage Fight Agree: Today Was Historic

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Both Sides of Gay Marriage Fight Agree: Today Was Historic

Article excerpt

As supporters and opponents of Proposition 8, the controversial California measure banning same-sex marriage, sifted through the arguments made before the Supreme Court Tuesday morning, they could agree on one thing: This is a watershed moment.

I cant believe we have come this far, frankly, says Nowlin Haltom, a real estate agent in the Los Angeles suburb of Studio City. He married his partner of 15 years in New York two years ago and says he has been in this fight for a long time.

Meanwhile, Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, says the Supreme Court is considering toying with thousands of years of human history. There is nothing in the history of the world culture that supports redefining marriage as an institution between a man and a man or a woman and a woman, he says.

Possible outcomes from Tuesdays arguments range from the case being dismissed all the way up to a broad ruling on whether or not there is a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry, says Rebecca Brown, a constitutional law professor at the University of Southern California's Gould School of law.

Theyve heard all the arguments, now they will go away and sort through them, she says. A decision is expected by early June.

Mr. Haltom is grateful for the progress that has been made on the issue, noting that when he first came out to his family, my father would not speak to me for two years. The fact that the law is being heard in the nations highest court is promising, but there is still much work left to do, says Haltom, a Vietnam veteran.

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I am certainly hopeful that the court will go all the way and make the biggest statement, he says. But something more narrow is probably likely.

He worries about his own relationship. At the moment, his husband would not be allowed to collect Haltom's Social Security check when Haltom dies. …

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