Demonstrators on gay marriage issue gather outside court

A flag is held over a stack of sixty boxes containing copies of an appeal filed with the Supreme Court, during a Restrain the Judges news conference in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, April 27, 2015. The opponents of same-sex marriage are urging the court to resist embracing what they see as a radical change in society's view of what constitutes marriage. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Demonstrators on both sides of the gay marriage debate are gathered in front of the Supreme Court, where justices today are hearing arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land.Some are waving gay rights banners. Others are carrying signs proclaiming that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. One sign read, “Homo sex is a sin.”

The cases before the court today come from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. They are four of the 14 states that still only allow heterosexual marriage. The four states had their bans upheld by a federal appeals court in Cincinnati in November. It’s the only one of those courts that has ruled in favor of the states since the Supreme Court in 2013 struck down part of the federal anti-gay-marriage law.

Today’s two and a-half hours of arguments will also explore whether states that do not permit same-sex marriage have to recognize those unions from other states.

Diane Olson, left, and her wife Robin Tyler, of Los Angeles, show off their number 1 ticket for the first in-line for a seat in the Supreme Court while waiting to enter the court in Washington, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The Supreme Court is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land. The justices are meeting Tuesday to offer the first public indication of where they stand in the dispute over whether states can continue defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, or whether the Constitution gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Diane Olson, left, and her wife Robin Tyler, of Los Angeles, show off their number 1 ticket for the first in-line for a seat in the Supreme Court while waiting to enter the court in Washington, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The Supreme Court is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land. The justices are meeting Tuesday to offer the first public indication of where they stand in the dispute over whether states can continue defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, or whether the Constitution gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Ryan Aquilina, 24, of Washington holds a sign in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The Supreme Court is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land. The justices are meeting Tuesday to offer the first public indication of where they stand in the dispute over whether states can continue defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, or whether the Constitution gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Ryan Aquilina, 24, of Washington holds a sign in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The Supreme Court is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land. The justices are meeting Tuesday to offer the first public indication of where they stand in the dispute over whether states can continue defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, or whether the Constitution gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Civil rights attorney Gloria Allred holds a photo of her clients, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, as she waits to enter the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The Supreme Court is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land. The justices are meeting Tuesday to offer the first public indication of where they stand in the dispute over whether states can continue defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, or whether the Constitution gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Civil rights attorney Gloria Allred holds a photo of her clients, April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, as she waits to enter the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. The Supreme Court is set to hear historic arguments in cases that could make same-sex marriage the law of the land. The justices are meeting Tuesday to offer the first public indication of where they stand in the dispute over whether states can continue defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, or whether the Constitution gives gay and lesbian couples the right to marry. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

 

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