The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday morning on the meaning of marriage. Two California couples challenging Proposition 8, the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, say it excludes gay and lesbian couples from an institution with a deep and distinctive meaning and thus violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. Defenders of the ban say that states should be able to work out for themselves whether to permit same-sex marriage. The Constitution is silent on the question, they say, and the court should not intervene in the vigorous debate playing out across the nation.
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