Supreme court to rule on the marriage rights for same-sex couples

This week could prove to be vital for future marriages as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear two cases regarding marital rights for same-sex couples.

The first case, Hollingsworth v. Perry deals with Proposition 8.  The California ballot proposition was passed in the 2008 state elections amending that only marriages of the opposite sexes would be accepted as valid in the state of California.  After the proposition’s passing, two same-sex couples were denied marriage licenses in 2009.  The two couples claimed that the Constitution’s equal protection clause prohibits California, or any other state, from limiting marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

The next case is United States v. Windsor.  This case will be to determine whether or not the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the constitutional rights of same-sex couples. The federal law was passed in 1996 defining marriage as a lawful union between a man and a woman. DOMA allows any state to refuse the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states.

The U.S. Department of Justice has declined to defend the law in court.  DOMA’s case is being defended by lawyers hired by a panel of the House of Representatives.

These cases and their arguments will be heard before the Supreme Court this Tuesday and Wednesday.


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