Both sides of the contentious debate over same-sex marriage in
America are expressing optimism over the news Friday that the US
Supreme Court has agreed to take up two potential landmark gay
The high court announced it would hear arguments in a case
testing the constitutionality of Californias Prop. 8 ban on same-
It also said it would hear the case of an elderly New York City
woman who claims the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates
her right to have her same-sex marriage recognized and respected by
the federal government on the same terms as marriages of opposite-
DOMA restricts receipt of federal spousal benefits to marriages
comprised of one man and one woman. Same-sex spouses who are legally
married in their home states are nonetheless barred from receiving
federal benefits under the 1996 law.
The high court action comes a month after voters in three states
Maryland, Washington, and Maine agreed to join six other states and
the District of Columbia in embracing same-sex marriages.
With our wins at the ballot box last month and the fight for
marriage equality reaching our nations highest court, we have
reached a turning point in this noble struggle, said Chad Griffin,
president of the gay rights group, Human Rights Campaign.
Todays announcement gives hope that we will see a landmark
Supreme Court ruling for marriage this term, he said in a statement.
Kate Kendell, of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, sounded
We are confident the Supreme Court will strike down DOMA once and
for all next year, and, after four long years, will finally erase
the stain of Proposition 8 and restore marriage equality to
California couples, she said.
The day is now clearly in sight when the federal government, the
state of California, and every state will recognize that same-sex
couples and their children are entitled to the same respect and
recognition as every other family, Ms. Kendell said.
At the same time, those defending the traditional definition of
marriage as the union of one man and one woman also viewed the
courts action as a step forward toward legal vindication of their
John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage,
said the courts decision to take up the Prop. 8 case suggests an
intent by the justices to reinstate Californias ban on same-sex
We believe it is a strong signal that the court will reverse the
lower courts and uphold Proposition 8, Mr. Eastman said.
Had the Supreme Court agreed with the lower courts decisions
invalidating Proposition 8, it could simply have declined to grant
the case, Eastman said. …