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Key quotes from Tuesday's gay marriage hearing

3:01 PM, Mar 26, 2013   |    comments
Supreme Court
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USA TODAY

The Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in the first of two gay marriage cases it is considering this week. Below are some notable quotes from members of the high court at today's hearing.

Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy
"There's substance to the point that sociological information is new. We have five years of information to weigh against 2,000 years of history or more."

Associate Justice Elena Kagan
"Suppose a state said that, Because we think that the focus of marriage really should be on procreation, we are not going to give marriage licenses anymore to any couple where both people are over the age of 55. Would that be constitutional?"

Associate Justice Samuel Alito
"You want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution which is newer than cellphones or the Internet? I mean we - we are not - we do not have the ability to see the future."

Chief Justice John Roberts
"I'm not sure that it's right to view this as excluding a particular group. When the institution of marriage developed historically, people didn't get around and say, 'Let's have this institution, but let's keep out homosexuals.' The institution developed to serve purposes that, by their nature, didn't include homosexual couples."

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia
"When did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage? 1791? 1868, when the 14th Amendment was adopted?"

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor
"Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits or imposing burdens on them? Is there any other rational decision-making that the government could make? Denying them a job, not granting them benefits of some sort, any other decision?"

The audio and text of Tuesday's hearing are below:

 

Prop 8 Transcript

 

USA TODAY

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