WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Justice Ruth Ginsberg wanted to know "what kind of marriage is it", if same sex couples are denied the same benefits as married men and women.
Justice Sotomayor wanted to know where the federal government gets the authority to define marriage.
The two liberal members of the court were clearly convinced that the Defense of Marriage Act discriminates against gay and lesbian couples who have been married in 9 States and the District of Columbia where same sex marriages are legal.
Such marriages are illegal in the vast majority of States with many adding amendments to their constitutions prohibiting same sex marriages.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, thought to be the key swing vote, seemed to suggest the federal government has infringed on States rights with DOMA which bans same sex married couples from eleven hundred different federal benefits. Kennedy points out that marriage has been a states issue, not federal.
he Obama administration enforced the DOMA law but no longer supports it. House leaders brought the case to the Supreme court after losing battles in lower federal courts.