As we gear up to get ready to hear arguments in the US Supreme court regarding same-sex marriage, activists on both sides work to get their voices heard.
The issue of same-sex marriages is perhaps one of the most controversial and contentious social issues of modern times, polarising opinion in many cases.
In a bid to raise the profile of both sides of the argument, there have been rallies and demonstrations taking place in the US aimed at raising the profile of the debate even further.
According to a report by Reuters, anti-gay rights activists rallied in front of the courthouse steps condemning same-sex marriage, while a line snaked around the block of people, many displaying gay rights messages, hoping to snag one of the limited number of seats available in the courtroom for the oral arguments.
There will be nine justices hearing all of the arguments concerning gay marriage restrictions imposed in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, four of the 13 states that still outlaw such marriages.
After the hearing there will then come a ruling, due by the end of June, and this ruling is set to determine whether same-sex marriage will be legal nationwide.
According to Reuters, before gay marriage became legal after a court ruling in the liberal north eastern state of Massachusetts in 2004, it was not permitted in any state. Now it is legal in 37 states and Washington, D.C.
While there are many in favour of same sex marriage there are also many opponents of gay marriage, mainly representatives of Christian organisations and these groups have railed against judges who have struck down state gay marriage bans.
“Homosexuality is not a civil right,” said one of the speakers, Greg Quinlan of the group New Jersey Family Policy Council to Reuters.
Steven Hotze, a conservative Texas doctor, raised concerns about the impact legalized gay marriage would have on Christians who oppose it. “It would force individuals to have to condone, accept, even celebrate, sexual immorality,” Hotze said to Reuters.
It is widely thought that it will be conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy who will cast the deciding vote in the case as the court is already divided on the issue both on the left and the right.
Same-sex marriage may have been a taboo issue in the past but recent polls show that the support for gay marriages has been rising across the country as attitudes change.
Mary Bonauto, the lead lawyer arguing for gay marriage, said the case “doesn’t rest on where public opinion stands.” She also said people living in states where it is now legal have become comfortable with the idea of same-sex couples marrying according to Reuters.