Opinions differ on same-sex marriage debate before Supreme Court

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Indiana's stand against gay marriage could change, depending on what the U.S. Supreme Court has to say.

An attorney wants the high court to end California's ban on gay marriage, arguing it's like banning interracial marriage. There are early suggestions that the Supreme Court will just dismiss the case without a ruling.

The loving, legal and religious commitment of two people coming together is tearing Americans apart.

"What is marriage? That's a hard question," admits IU Kelley School of Business Assistant Professor Randle Pollard.

It's a question the U.S. Supreme Court could answer for the entire country. Forty-one states now prohibit same-sex marriages. Indiana is considering strengthening its ban with a Constitutional amendment.

Pollard has studied the issue.

"I think you should be concerned, because Indiana might have to consider how it treats same-sex marriage," he said.

A Supreme Court ruling could overrule what Hoosiers think. For some, marriage is defined by Constitutional law.

"It's definitely a civil rights issue more than anything else," insists Ellen Maue, an IUPUI student.

Others, however, believe in a higher law.

"Marriage is defined by God as a man and a woman," said Judy Schmidt as she walked with friends downtown.

A recent Pew Research poll finds Americans overall almost evenly split on the question of gay marriage - 49 percent are in favor, 44 percent are in opposition.

But it's a generational issue. Only 38 percent of Baby Boomers support gay marriage. Nearly twice as many Millennials - 70 percent of those born after 1981, favor it.

That is exactly what Eyewitness News found talking with IUPUI students.

"Marriage is something everybody should have a right to, no matter what sexuality you are," Maue said.

Joey Zielinsky agreed.

"I personally don't want to marry another male, it doesn't mean shouldn't be allowed to," he said.

But an older group of friends on the circle disagreed.

"Gay couples deserve to have benefits and government support as straight couples," said Clarice Douchette. "I don't think it should be called a marriage."

Hannelore Phillips agreed.

"Marriage," she insisted, "It's between a man and a woman."

For now, it is between the states and the Supreme Court.