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Two same sex couple kiss in front anti gay protesters at the US Supreme Court on March 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court, for the first time, takes up the delicate and divisive issue of gay marriage when the nine justices consider the legality of a California ballot initiative that limits marriage to opposite-sex couples. Wednesday, the court will consider the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which limits the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIERKAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(Credit: Getty KAREN BLEIER)

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PHOTOS: Same-Sex Marriage Debate

The Supreme Court waded into the fight over same-sex marriage Tuesday, at a time when public opinion is shifting rapidly in favor of permitting gay and lesbian couples to wed, but 40 states don't allow it.