Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments for and against the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which the Obama Administration has declined to defend. A ruling on DOMA could impact federal benefits for same-sex couples. The Proposition 8 case before the court yesterday could have a broader impact. The justices could use it to rule on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage – though they signaled hesitation to issue such a broad determination.
In the court of public opinion, the divide falls along generational lines. Polls indicate older Americans often oppose gay marriage while young adults tend to support it.
To delve into that pivotal generation, Lake Effect’s Amy Kiley discussed the Supreme Court hearings with two University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee students.
First, we meet Johanna Beran. She’s a member of UWM’s group Cru, the U.S. branch of Campus Crusade for Christ. She opposes same-sex marriage on religious grounds but she says her viewpoint is complex. "My personal view," she says, "is that it's wrong. Just like I might not agree with certain things. But I believe my opinion and my personal feelings aren't necessarily fair - that is, I don't feel like it's right to push my convictions on other people.
Fellow student Baraq Stein, who is gay, hopes the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in favor of gay marriage. "This debate is about much more than just achieving marriage equality," he contends. "It's understanding and opening the door to full citizenship, essentially, of LGBT people."