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Same-sex marriage supporters gather outside US Supreme Court for hearings

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Anti-Proposition 8 protesters are shadowed by a rainbow banner in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, on March 26. America's top court takes up the delicate and divisive issue of gay marriage on Tuesday when the nine Supreme Court justices consider the legality of a California ballot initiative that limits marriage to opposite-sex couples.

Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

Gay rights supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court as it waits to hear the marriage equality case referred to as Prop 8 in Washington DC, on March 26. The Supreme Court is to hear arguments in the cases of Hollingsworth vs Perry and US vs Windsor. The cases involve a California law known as Proposition 8 that bans same-sex marriages there, and a federal law, the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), which keeps the US government from offering benefits to same-sex couples.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Married couple Mike McFarland, left, and Larry Baxley show their support for gay marriage during a rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26, in Washington, DC. Today the high court is scheduled to hear arguments in California's proposition 8, the controversial ballot initiative that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

A protester from Ohio carries a flag outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on March 26. America's top court takes up the delicate and divisive issue of gay marriage on Tuesday when the nine Supreme Court justices consider the legality of a California ballot initiative that limits marriage to opposite-sex couples.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

People line up to enter the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, March 26.

 By Tom Curry, National Affairs Writer, NBC News - The Supreme Court prepared Tuesday for a historic one-hour oral argument on marriage which could lead to any one of a wide array of possible decisions -- from essentially leaving in place the traditional marriage laws now on the books in most states to proclaiming same-sex marriage a fundamental right under the United States Constitution. Continue reading this article here.

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