US Supreme Court to take up same-sex marriage issue

Published on December 7 2012 No Comment
US Supreme Court to take up same-sex marriage issue

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Friday to take its first serious look at the issue of gay marriage, granting review of California’s ban on same-sex marriage and of a federal law that defines marriage as only the legal union of a man and a woman.

At the very least, the court will look at this question: When states choose to permit the marriages of same-sex couples, can the federal government refuse to recognize their validity?  But by also taking up the California case, the court could get to the more fundamental question of whether the states must permit marriages by gay people in the first place.

On Prop 8: Now that the Supreme Court is wading into the battle, the justices could decide the more basic issue of whether any state can ban same-sex marriage under the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the law.  Or they could limit their ruling to apply only to the ban in California.

On DOMA: A Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act would not, by itself, require states to allow same-sex marriages.  But the federal government would be required to recognize those marriages in the states where they are legal.

Learn more at NBCNews.com.