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U.S. Supreme Court Hears Same-Sex Marriage Cases

The laws regarding same-sex marriage are varied across the United States. In New York, for instance, same-sex couples can marry. In New Jersey, the law permits same-sex couples to enter into a civil union. Most states do not have laws that allow same-sex marriage or civil unions. This month, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing arguments in two same-sex marriage cases. Decisions in these cases may bring some clarity to this area of the law.

According to NBC News, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on two landmark same-sex marriage cases. The first is a challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriage by the federal government. The second is a challenge to California’s Proposition 8, which is a 2008 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

NBC News pointed out that there have been many challenges to DOMA in the lower courts throughout the years, so many observers expected the court to hear the case. But observers were surprised that the Court also took on review of Proposition 8. Observers believe that the Court believes it is time to address the issue of same-sex marriage.

The effect of the Supreme Court’s decisions could depend on what its focus is. There are many state and federal issues at play. It is possible the Court could:

  • Rule on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage
  • Revert the issue back to the states

There is no doubt that all eyes will be on the Court to see what its decision will be.

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