The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on the constitutionality of one of the main laws in the same-sex marriage debate: California's Proposition 8, which says marriage in that state is between a man and a woman. The high court's decision, expected later this year, could have a profound impact on the definition of families in America.
Here's the latest on Tuesday's arguments on California's Proposition 8:
[Updated at 12:48 p.m. ET]
We're signing off on this end for now - check out our main story for more detail and analysis as it comes today. W
Don't forget to join us again here tomorrow, when the Supreme Court hears the second round of debate on same-sex marriage: the Defense of Marriage Act.
[Updated at 12:31 p.m. ET]
Director Rob Reiner, who watched today's oral arguments, is a vocal critic against Proposition 8. Here's what he had to say after court adjourned:
"Today is a historic day for all those who believe in freedom and equality. After more than four years of working our case through victories at the federal District and Circuit courts, we finally had an opportunity today to present our arguments in support of marriage equality for gay and lesbian Americans before the highest court in the land. This case has always been about the love shared by two individuals and about the central promise from our nation's founding that all men are created equal and are endowed with inalienable rights, including the pursuit of happiness.
[Updated at 12:11 p.m. ET]
Andrew Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, tells reporters outside the court that he believes both sides of the argument have agreed that it is impossible to know with certainly how society would change by redefining "a fundamental institution such as marriage.
[Updated at 12:04 p.m. ET]
"Today we feel we clearly presented the winning case for marriage," says Andrew Pugno, general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, who is speaking with reporters now.
[Updated at 12:01 p.m. ET]
Charles Cooper, lead counsel defending Proposition 8, told reporters that he couldn't sum up his argument in a couple of sentences. "We believe Proposition 8 is constitutional," he said, making a brief statement.
[Updated at 11:48 a.m. ET]
Kris Perry, a plaintiff in the Proposition 8 case, just spoke, saying: "In this country as children, we learn that there's a founding principle, that all men and women are created equal. ... Unfortunately with the passage of Proposition 8, we learned that there are group of people in California who are not being treated equally."
"We look forward to a day when Proposition 8 is officially eliminated and equality is restored to the state of California."
[Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET]
Two main attorneys arguing against Proposition 8, Republican Ted Olson and Democrat David Boies, are speaking outside the courthouse now. What's important from today, Olson said, is "the American people were listening to the argument. The other side, nobody really offered a defense."
"We're very gratified they listened, they heard, they asked hard questions, (but) there is no denying where the right is, and we hope the court (rules that way) in June."
[Updated at 11:43 a.m. ET]
According to Toobin, there were a lot of questions along these lines from Justices Scalia and Alito: We don't know the effects of same sex parenting on children, so why don't we wait and let the states go experiment? Why do we, the Supreme Court, have to get involved in this process?
Toobin said Roberts seemed sympathetic to these questions.
[Updated at 11:39 a.m. ET]
The attorney general and the governor of California have refused to defend Proposition 8. So the question, Toobin says, is, "Who can defend the law? Who has the standing?" The answer to that question will be key to resolving the case.