DOMA, Gay Marriage to Be Addressed by Supreme Court in March


On March 26, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a pair or same-sex marriage cases that could decide the future of marriage equality in America. 

According to Reuters, the Prop 8 challenge "could give the court a chance to accept or reject a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, or issue a narrower ruling affecting only the nation's most populous state."

Voters passed Proposition 8 in California, during the 2008 election, banning same-sex marriages in the otherwise progressive state. 

The next day, March 27, the Supreme Court will review a New York court ruling that struck down a piece of the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that defines marriage between one man and one woman (and denies married same-sex couples the same federal benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy).

In Hollingsworth v. Perry — the California case — the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, "the state cannot take away a right to same-sex marriage after previously allowing it." The case was represented by Theodore Olson and David Boies, two lawyers who were on opposite sides during the 2000 case Bush v. Gore.

In New York, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — in a decision by Chief Judge and Republican appointee Dennis Jacobs — struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a 1996 legislation signed by then President Bill Clinton.

The Court made the announcement on Monday, in what could bring closure to millions of Americans for which LGBT rights have become the civil rights issue of our era.