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Good evening I'm John Roberts in for Brett -- tonight today the Supreme Court took up the prop eight case a ban on same sex marriage in California although -- ruling is not expected for some time.
One justice suggested the court could dismiss the case with no ruling at all correspondent Shannon Bream has our lead story tonight.
Following arguments today the Supreme Court must now decide whether or not to uphold the wishes of California voters who in 2008 ratified an initiative known as prop eight.
It -- -- the California constitution to limit valid and legally recognized marriages to only those between one man and one woman.
Today number the justices asked -- individual states shouldn't be able to make their own decisions about this relatively new concept.
Including justice Samuel Alito who said the idea of same sex marriage is -- were then cell phones and the Internet it's.
On a question like that of such fundamental importance why should not be left for the people.
Either acting through initiatives and referendums -- through their elected public officials.
After California's attorney general and governor opted not to defend -- -- court.
Supporters of the -- -- took up the legal fights arguing that marriage is a unique relationship that must be protected.
Today justice Elena Kagan asked -- law allowing same sex marriage would undermine naps.
What -- you see happening.
And when and town -- and what what harm.
The institution of marriage -- to opposite sex couples.
How does this cause and effect work.
Charles Cooper representing the prop eight supporters argued that it is impossible to -- see how redefining marriage will ultimately impact society -- Several justices also noted that same sex couples already have expanse of rights in California.
With that in mind Chief Justice John Roberts asked why prop eight opponents are insistence on using the word marriage.
If you tell a child that somebody has to be their friend.
I suppose you can force the child to say this is my friend but it changes the definition of what it means to be -- friend.
And that's it seems to me what that is what supporters of proposition eight are saying what are your -- all your interest -- -- the label and you insist on changing the definition of the label.
Justice Anthony Kennedy who many believe could serve as the swing vote in the case.
Signaled he's empathetic to how the court's ruling will impact the children of same sex couples.
There -- some 40000.
Children in California according to the red brief.
That -- with same sex parents.
Want their parents.
To have full recognition and full steps.
The voice of those children is important in this case don't you think.
Despite that comment from Justice Kennedy he also cautioned that the court is waiting and to quote uncharted waters.
He even said at one point he's not sure the case is properly before the court there are serious technical issues about the standing of the parties to this dispute and several justices signaled.
They may not even actually get to the merits of the case -- Shannon -- outside the Supreme Court tonight Shannon thanks so much.
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