WASHINGTON -- The lawyer representing supporters of California's ban on same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court essentially conceded Tuesday that gay marriage opponents are going to lose in the long term.
During oral arguments, Charles J. Cooper referred twice to voters hitting the “pause button” to “await additional information from the jurisdictions where this experiment is still maturing” before making a decision on same-sex marriage.
Cooper’s point seemed to be that although same-sex marriage may eventually become the law of the land, the Supreme Court shouldn’t speed up that process. He said it wouldn’t have been irrational for a California voter to support Proposition 8 in 2008 in order to observe how the gay marriage “experiment” worked out first in other states.
Referring to a decision in a lower court, Cooper said it was “accepted truth” that things were “changing rapidly in this country as people throughout the country engage in an earnest debate over whether the age-old definition of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples.”
He added that the democratic debate was “roiling throughout this country” and will “definitely be coming back to California."
Recent polls have found that support for allowing gay marriage has grown rapidly over the past 10 years, with most surveys showing that more Americans support it than oppose it. One recent poll by ABC News and The Washington Post found that a solid majority of Americans -- 58 percent -- favor making gay marriage legal, although support has not been quite so high in other surveys.
In recent polls by the Pew Research Center and HuffPost/YouGov, many Americans said they have changed their minds in recent years on marriage equality, a change that appears largely driven by relationships with gay and lesbian friends and family members.