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Supreme Court will hear gay marriage cases in March

The two cases could be game changers for gay rights activists

The Supreme Court announced yesterday that it would hear two case involving the controversial gay marriage debate in March. The high court had agreed last month to hear two of the five cases brought before it, but it had yet to set an exact date until now.

On March 26, the Supreme Court will hear Hollingsworth v. Perry, a case involving California’s Proposition 8, which passed in 2008 and bars gay marriage in the state. The justices will decide on the constitutionality of that law. On March 27, the court will hear U.S. v. Windsor, a case out of New York that challenges the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1996. DOMA bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages and prevents those couples from receiving the same federal benefits that heterosexual individuals do.

Although a democratic president signed DOMA into law, much has changed in the past 15 years, and a move toward marriage equality seems inevitable. Last year, President Barack Obama came out in support of gay marriage—the first president ever to do so. Nine states and Washington, D.C., have already legalized gay marriage.

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

Supreme Court will hear two cases on gay marriage

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

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Cathleen Flahardy

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