The United States Supreme Court this weeek will be hearing two cases involving proposition 8. These decisions could have a national impact beyond the borders of California, where this debate started years ago. Two lawyers, Theordore B. Olson and David Boies, took on the challenge four years ago to appeal California's ban on gay marriage. Summer Joy looked into this situation and she hit the streets of Pocatello to find out what the general feeling is concerning the definition of marriage.
As the Supreme Court takes up same sex marriage, there's a stunning swing in it's acceptance. A decade ago, a third of Americans backed gay marriage. Today it's 49 to 58 percent in favor. Here in Idaho, most of the people I spoke with felt that gay marriage wasn't right for them, but that the government shouldn't tell anyone who they can or cannot marry.
"I belive personally that it's not appropriate, however people do have the right to decide for themselves for what they want to do with their lives. I'm happily married and if two guys or two girls have that same kind of connection I don't how anybody has the right to deny them that," said Kevin Winchester, a Local Resident.
"If two people love eachother then that is all that matters. In todays society people put an emphasis on gay or straight marrigae, but nobody is thinking about love," said Corine Anglesey, a Local Resident.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear proposition eight's ban on gay marriage on Tuesday. The Court will first decide if those who sponsored the ban have the legal right to defend the state of California in court. If not, the Justices could dismiss the appeal which would leave the status of proposition 8 unclear.
If the Supreme Court decides to hear the case, then the Justices have several options to consider ranging from a broad decision on the constitutionality of gay marriage to reversing the 9th circuit decision and upholding proposition eight which would essentially leave the definition of marriage up to each individual state and its voters.
"I've been married for 26 years and I was sealed in the Temple. I have relatives that are gay and they are quite happily married to their partners. I feel like it's not of my opinion, but I love them too. I think if I had a child that was gay I believe that is between them and heavenly Father, and it it is not up to me," said Elizebeth Ponce, a Local Resident.
"I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman, that is my personal opinion and my religion believes that and that is what it means to me," said Connor Fullmer, a local resident.
"If people want to be in a committed relationship, why force them not to get the benefits of being married," said Joy Fox, a Local Resident.
Also before the Supreme Court this week, the Justicese will determine the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act which blocks federal benefits to same sex couples. Even if those are married in states that allow gay marriage.