Supreme Court tackles gay marriage, as advocates line up for historic argument

March 25, 2013

The front-lines of the gay marriage debate move this week to the Supreme Court, as it considers two cases which have the potential to redefine marriage on a national level.

The arguments come at a time of changing views, with support for gay marriage becoming a mainstream Democratic position and the issue causing a sharp divide among Republicans.

The first case the court will take up, on Tuesday, is California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. The court on Wednesday weighs the Defense of Marriage Act, considering a provision that defines marriage as between a man and a woman for the purpose of deciding who can receive a range of federal benefits.

It is the California case, though, that could have sweeping implications for the states. The judges could, if they choose to rule broadly, overturn every state constitutional provision and law banning same-sex marriages. Or, they could set back the gay marriage movement by upholding California’s ban and continuing to leave the issue up to the states.

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