Landmark day at U.S. Supreme Court - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Landmark day at U.S. Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWBT) -

It was a landmark day Tuesday in Washington D.C. as thousands gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court, while the justices considered whether to make same-sex marriage legal across the country.

In the first few minutes of court proceedings, we heard Chief Justice John Roberts talk about extreme reservations against changing a definition that's existed for thousands of years. But the other side fired back, saying marriage is a fundamental right with a whole class of people now excluded.

In the middle of thousands of people was a couple with two children who say their marriage is just as valid as everyone else's. But in the middle of a tense day at the Supreme Court, there was the possibility that the justices may hold off on history, deciding by the end of June not to make same sex marriage legal across the country.

What would that mean for Virginia's same sex couples already married? Virginia's Attorney General Mark Herring said, "I don't want to think of that possibility."

If same sex marriage loses here, that means all new gay marriages would stop in Virginia. It's unlikely same sex couples would be unmarried in the Commonwealth, but that would have to go through even more legal action.

Thousands here wanted their voices heard, of just how high the stakes are for the battle. Pastors and religious activists crowded the street in front of the plaza, flying from as far as California and Texas. For now, both sides have to wait after their day in the nation's highest court comes to an end.

There was an outburst in court Tuesday, as well. As soon as the attorney for the same-sex couples wrapped her argument, a man shouted the word, "abomination" over and over again, his words echoing through the chamber as guards took him outside.

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