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.