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Supreme Court will hear two cases on gay marriage

High court’s decision on marriage equality expected by June

The Supreme Court on Friday announced that it has decided to hear two of the five cases brought before it regarding marriage equality. This is the first time the high court has entered the debate on gay marriage, and its decision, expected by June, will be a defining legal moment on the controversial issue.

One of the cases the Supreme Court will hear involves California’s Proposition 8, which passed in 2008 and bars gay marriage in the state. The second case the high court agreed to take comes from New York and involves the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Passed in 1996, DOMA mandates that the federal government does not recognize same sex marriage in states where it’s legal and denies federal benefits to same sex couples. At least two appeals courts have already found DOMA to be unconstitutional.

Although the justices aren’t saying why they chose the cases they did, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog gives its thoughts on why these two suits rose to the surface.

With much support, the move toward marriage equality seems inevitable. In May, President Barack Obama came out in support of gay marriage—the first president ever to do so. And nine states and Washington, D.C., have already legalized gay marriage—three of them most recently as on Election Day in November.

Read more InsideCounsel stories about marriage equality and other LGBT issues:

Supreme Court will decide whether to hear gay marriage cases

2nd Circuit strikes down Defense of Marriage Act

Sony’s law department director honored with National LGBT Bar Association’s Out & Proud Corporate Counsel Award

Boy Scouts reaffirm policy against admitting gay leaders

Employers’ health care coverage for transgender employees increasing

Transgender employees protected under Title VII


Cathleen Flahardy

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