The California Supreme Court is set Tuesday to consider a pivotal civil rights question that has sparked controversy in courthouses and contentious public debate: Should gay couples be allowed to marry?
From its courthouse in San Francisco, the seven justices are scheduled to hear three hours of oral arguments about whether the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional -- an issue that has polarized politics and divided courts across the country for nearly a decade. But a decision by this high court, in the state with the largest number of homosexual couples, could reverberate well beyond California.
"This will be one of the -- if not the-- legal landmarks in the struggle for equal rights," said Geoffrey Kors, of Equality California, a gay and lesbian advocacy group involved in the marriage litigation. "It will have a ripple effect not only in this country, but the whole world."
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