US Supreme Court Considers Gay Marriage

美最高法院首審同性婚

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The U.S. Supreme Court plunged into the controversial issue of same sex marriage Tuesday.

美國最高法院置身同性婚姻爭議。


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Jim Malone
March 26, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court plunged into the controversial issue of same sex marriage Tuesday.The high court heard the first of two cases related to gay marriage that could shift the legal and political landscape.

A huge crowd both for and against gay marriage swarmed outside the Supreme Court, eager to take part in what may turn out to be a pivotal moment in the struggle for equal rights for gay Americans.

At issue is California’s ban on gay marriage, the first of two cases the high court will take up this week that could clarify the rights for same sex couples to marry.

Among those supporting gay marriage is the Reverend Darryl Kistler from California.

“I have a lot of gay and lesbian people in my congregation, family members who are gay and lesbian, a lot of deep friends and good friends who are gay and lesbian, so, since they're not here, I feel like I carry then with my heart and am here to speak for them and to stand up for them," he said.

Recent polls show growing support for gay marriage around the country.At the moment only nine states and the District of Columbia recognize same sex marriages.

But supporters of traditional marriage were also out in force Tuesday, staging a march in front of the Supreme Court and insisting that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

Ann Cohrs was among them.

“They can do what they do," she said. "They can live the way they want to live.But they cannot turn society upside down.It is wrong.”

The demonstrators were peaceful and included members of an anti-gay church from Kansas.

“When the Supreme Court does this thing, it’s going to be the last straw," she said. "This nation’s destruction is imminent.”

Inside the high court, questions from some of the nine justices to attorneys on both sides suggested the court might not issue a sweeping decision either way.

Among those challenging California’s ban on gay marriage is Paul Katami, who wants to marry his lover.

“This case has been about securing the right to marry the person that I love and also having the equal access to the most important relationship that I know in life, and that’s marriage," he said.

But opponents of gay marriage like attorney Andrew Pugno hope the Supreme Court does not issue a ruling that could open the way to same sex marriages in all 50 states.

“And so a victory here for us means that this issue returns to the people and their legislatures and their elected representatives where the debate belongs," he said.

In a second case on Wednesday, the high court will consider a 1996 federal law that defines marriage solely as between a man and a woman.

Rulings in both cases are expected by the end of June.


Language Notes

plunge into (v phr) 跳入; 投入

hear (v) 審理;聽(證人)陳述

swarm (v) 擠滿;群集

pivotal (a) 中樞的;重要的

美國最高法院 (The U.S. Supreme Court) 置身於 (plunged into) 高度爭議性 (controversial) 的同性婚姻議題。最高法院首度審理 (heard) 兩件同性婚姻案件,最後結果可能會改變美國法律與政治的樣貌 (shift the legal and political landscape)。

大批贊成與反對 (for and against) 同性婚姻的群眾簇擁在 (swarmed) 最高法院外,渴望參與 (take part in) 爭取同性戀平等人權 (equal rights) 重要的一刻 (a pivotal moment)。

clarify (v) 澄清;闡明

congregation (n) (宗教的)集會;(教堂的)會眾

poll (n) 民調

Darryl Kistler牧師 (the Reverend) 現身於支持同性婚姻的群眾中。他表示,他的教會群眾 (congregation)裡有不少同性戀教友,他身邊不少親友與摯友也是同性戀。他到此是為了替他們發出聲音 (speak for them),擁護他們的權力 (stand up for them)。

最近的民調 (recent polls) 顯示,美國各處對同性婚姻的支持度有升高的趨勢 (growing support for . . .)。

in force (prep phr) 大批地

demonstrator (n) 示威運動者

imminent (a) (危險等)逼近的;即將發生的

週二也有大批的群眾上街 (out in force),在最高法院前展開遊行 (staging a march),擁護傳統婚姻制度,堅持婚姻只能介於男人與女人之間 (between a man and a woman)。示威者 (demonstrators) 和平的表達訴求,其中也有來自堪薩斯州 (Kansas) 的反同性戀教會 (anti-gay church)的成員。其中一位示威者說,最高法院的判決可能是最後一根稻草 (the last straw),美國的毀滅之日近了 (imminent)。

justice (n) 法官

attorney (n) 律師

sweeping (a) 全面的;徹底的

secure (v) 弄到,獲得

opponent (n) 對手;反對者

ruling (n) 裁決,裁定

由庭內九位法官 (justices) 與 兩造律師的 (attorneys on both sides)的提問交鋒來看,法院不太可能會對兩方 (either way)─支持或反對─做出廣泛而全面性的判決 (a sweeping decision)。Paul Katami要挑戰加州的同性婚姻禁令 (ban),他表示他的案子是要得到與所愛之人結婚的權力 (securing the right to marry . . .),並且擁有平等的權利能進入婚姻 (having the equal access to . . .)。反對派 (opponents) 律師則希望最高法院的判決 (ruling) 不要讓美國五十洲都開放 (open the way to . . .) 同性婚姻。他認為,這個議題要回歸到州議會 (legislatures) 與人民所選出的民意代表身上 (elected representatives)。


Language Tips

本新聞裡有使用補語前置的倒裝句。例句一:「At issue is California’s ban on gay marriage . . . .」。例句二:「Among those supporting gay marriage is the Reverend Darryl Kistler from California.」(斜體字為句子的補語)。前兩個例句的介係詞片語是句子裡的主詞補語,一般是放在動詞之後,但在新聞中這兩句中裡放到句首,成了倒裝句。沒有倒裝的正常語序是:「California’s ban on gay marriage is at issue.」,「The Reverend Darryl Kistler from California is among those supporting gay marriage.」。

不知道讀者有沒有感覺到上面兩個例句,在倒裝前後對閱讀的影響呢?就英語的習慣來說,主詞太長會不利閱讀,如果是有補語的句子,就可以考慮把補語前置的倒裝句型。上述例句一和二的主詞都是由名詞加上修飾語組成,是比較長的主詞,所以把當補語的介係詞片語前置,讀起來就容易。另一個補語前置的原因是要把句子裡重要的、新提到的訊息放到句子後。就上面兩個例句來看,「at issue」、「among those supporting gay marriage」都是新聞別處提過的概念 (也就是新聞本身的背景),相對來說,本來的主詞「California’s ban on gay marriage」、「the Reverend Darryl Kistler from California」是新的,要被注意的訊息,放到句子後面的話,就比較容易抓到注意力。


Check your vocabulary!

Fill in the blanks with a word or phrase from the list above. Make necessary changes. After you finish, select the text below to reveal the hidden answers.

1. The Supreme Court heard the case on Tuesday.

2. The Bank of England has a pivotal role in the London money market.

3. An attorney is a person who is legally qualified to act for another in business or in actions at law.

4. He easily defeated his opponent in the election.

5. The boy took off his clothes and plunged into the swimming pool.

6. Polls indicate that education is the top issue with voters.

7. Thirteen demonstrators were killed when soldiers opened fire on the crowd.

8. Soon it became clear to everyone that war was imminent.


Source:http://www.voanews.com/content/us-supreme-court-considers-gay-marriage/1629344.html

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