WASHINGTON (AP) — Pivotal Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote could decide the same-sex marriage issue for the nation, did not tip his hand Tuesday in historic arguments at the Supreme Court. But Kennedy’s record on the issue could give encouragement to gay and lesbian couples.

As advocates and protesters demonstrated outside, the author of the court’s three prior gay rights rulings talked about the touchstones of dignity and concern for children in same-sex households that drove his favorable earlier opinions.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pivotal Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote could decide the same-sex marriage issue for the nation, did not tip his hand Tuesday in historic arguments at the Supreme Court. But Kennedy’s record on the issue could give encouragement to gay and lesbian couples.

As advocates and protesters demonstrated outside, the author of the court’s three prior gay rights rulings talked about the touchstones of dignity and concern for children in same-sex households that drove his favorable earlier opinions.

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After historic arguments, court to rule on same-sex marriage

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pivotal Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote could decide the same-sex marriage issue for the nation, did not tip his hand Tuesday in historic arguments at the Supreme Court. But Kennedy’s record on the issue could give encouragement to gay and lesbian couples.

As advocates and protesters demonstrated outside, the author of the court’s three prior gay rights rulings talked about the touchstones of dignity and concern for children in same-sex households that drove his favorable earlier opinions.

But he also worried about changing the definition of marriage from the union of a man and a woman, a meaning that he said has existed for “millennia-plus time.”

“It’s very difficult for the court to say ‘We know better'” after barely a decade of experience with same-sex marriage in the United States, Kennedy told Mary Bonauto, a lawyer representing same-sex couples.

The 78-year-old justice’s likely role as a key, perhaps decisive vote was reinforced during arguments that lasted 2

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