The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear two cases in the spring of 2013 challenging both state and federal same-sex marriage rights. The first case addresses the state of California’s Proposition 8 voter-approved ban on gay marriage and the second, a New York case challenging a provision in the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that prohibits federal benefits to gay spouses.
Reuters reported that while both opponents and proponents of same-sex marriage “welcomed the court’s decision to take up the issue,” it is unclear how narrow or wide sweeping the Supreme Court’s rulings will be. “Taking both a states’ rights case like Prop 8, and a case involving Congress’s authority in the DOMA … suggests that the court is ready to take on the entire issue, not just piecemeal it,” Andrew Pugno, a lawyer for the individuals defending California’s gay marriage ban told Reuters.
For an in-depth explanation of the two cases before the Court, watch a PBS News Hour segment here: