As supporters of marriage equality lit up Facebook with red and pink equality signs on March 26, the Supreme Court listened to arguments against Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage.
According to the Washington Post, Proposition 8 was passed in 2008 by voters in California who said no to gay marriage, declaring by their votes that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
Demonstrators on both sides of the argument rallied outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday, a day after same-sex marriage supporters rallied on the streets of San Francisco.
There have been rallies from both sides of the argument from coast to coast and beyond. A Google search returns many photographs of same-sex marriage supporters and those who support traditional marriage.
The Supreme Court justices seem nearly as divided on the issue as friends on Facebook and Twitter were on Tuesday.
Facebook friends argued back and forth on the issue of marriage equality. Some changed their profile pictures to the marriage equality sign.
Others changed their profile pictures to a man slipping a wedding ring onto a woman’s finger or two wedding rings, many including biblical quotes.
On Twitter, marriage equality, against marriage equality, traditional marriage and sanctity of marriage were all trending topics on Tuesday.
Many conservatives feel that marriage should remain defined as between one man and one woman to protect the traditional family.
The argument used most often is that God defined marriage in the Bible. Most often quoted is a passage from Leviticus 18:22, “Though shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination.”
Conservatives also argue that, if the definition of marriage is changed to include same-sex marriage, the ruling could eventually be extended to include marriage between multiple people or adult-child marriage.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will also hear arguments in the federal Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, known as DOMA.
This case addresses whether federal benefits can be withheld from same-sex couples who were married in states where same-sex marriage is already legal.
National sentiment has changed considerably in the past generation. However, the change isn’t limited to those under the age of 30.
From teens to retired people, there’s a divide between those on one side of the argument and those on the other side.
Many more people remain in the middle, trying to avoid the controversy which often appears when people have strong opinions on any issue.
Even many who are opposed to same-sex marriage are supportive of gay friends and coworkers. However, it’s difficult to remain neutral on social media without offending one side or the other.
In the end, the Supreme Court may kick the battle back to the states to decide. As Justice Anthony Kennedy stated, the court is in “uncharted waters.”
Wednesday’s DOMA case is scheduled to last about twice as long as Tuesday’s Proposition 8 case. Expect the Facebook and Twitter arguments to continue.