The U.S. Supreme Court heard Tuesday oral arguments concerning Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution of California to define marriage as between a man and a woman, thereby making same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
Scroll down for the full transcript of the oral argumentw, as well as listen to audio of the proceedings.
The discussion of the controversial ballot measure, which Californians approved in November 2008, will be studied and pored over ceaselessly in coming weeks as the court deliberates over how to rule in the critical case.
The justices appeared to shy away from a sweeping decision on Proposition 8 that might declare that restricting the ability of gays to marry is against the tenets of the U.S. Constitution. Justice Antonin Scalia was particularly critical of efforts to overturn Proposition 8 in his remarks, and it did not appear that a majority of justices were willing to make a drastic move in their decision. But several justices questioned the whether they should take the case at all, which might lead them to leave intact a lower court ruling against Prop 8.
The Proposition 8 case is one of two landmark cases on the topic of same-sex marriage that the high court has agreed to hear this session. The second concerns the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage at the federal level as being between a man and a woman. DOMA was signed into law in 1996 by President Bill Clinton, who has since said that he now supports gay marriage and would not sign the bill were he president today. The justices will hear arguments on DOMA Wednesday.
Click play below to listen to an audio recording of the Supreme Court's first day of oral argument regarding Proposition 8, as provided by Buzzfeed via Soundcloud: