In Chapter 7, we turned our attention from the role of federal courts in influencing policy to the role of state courts. Chapter 7 explored state education financing, a crucial public policy issue. In this chapter, we examine one of the best examples of the use of state courts to influence social policy: same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is an important, and highly contentious, sociomoral issue, and the regulation of marriage is a power generally reserved to the states.1 Until late 2010, only state courts had been asked to rule on whether laws could restrict marriage to heterosexual couples. Same-sex marriage litigation attempts also present a particularly stark example of how courts may face significant backlash when their rulings fall outside the policy preferences held by the other branches of government and the people.