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Supreme Court clears way for same-sex weddings in at least five more states – Part 1

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    The Supreme Court opened for business today and immediately ruled out a major decision on gay marriage. Instead, without comment, the justices refused to hear cases from five states. Within hours, same-sex weddings were under way in Virginia, with the path now clear for ceremonies to begin in the other states as well.

  • MAN:

    I hereby declare you legally married.


    For gay couples in Utah who married in a 17-day window of legality last December, the high court's move came as a happy surprise.

    PEGGY TOMSIC, Lawyer for plaintiffs: It means my marriage is going to be legal, and my second parent adoption for my son can go through. And I think what it also means is it will be very difficult to put the toothpaste back in the tube…



    … if anybody decides to try to deny rights which they shouldn't under the Constitution.


    The court's action immediately allowed weddings in five states Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Utah. All had appealed lower court rulings against gay marriage bans.

    Six other states are bound by those same rulings, and couples there will ultimately be able to marry as well. They will join 19 other states and the District of Columbia, where gay marriage is already legal.

    Utah Governor Gary Herbert said today he's still opposed, but the fight is essentially is over.

    GOV. GARY HERBERT, (R) Utah: I do personally believe that it is a state right issue. I believed that in the past and believe it today. But people have different points of view and different opinions. But right now, it's a matter of standing down so there's no more expense.


    The road to legalizing gay marriage has been a long one, from civil unions to actual marriages, starting in Massachusetts in 2004. That evolution came amid a sea change in public opinion. Polling since 1996 has shown an upward tick in support for same-sex marriage, and for the past four years, it's been over 50 percent.

    Two years ago, President Obama weighed in.


    At a certain point, I have just concluded that, for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.


    And last year, gay rights advocates celebrated as the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

    We will get a full analysis of the impact of today's Supreme Court action, including voices on either side of the gay marriage question, right after the news summary.

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