BULLETIN: United States Supreme Court to rule on two gay marriage cases

The United States Supreme Court (USSC) announced today that it will hear two cases dealing with constitutional challenges to state and federal laws that undermine same-sex marriage.

The first case, Hollingsworth v Perry, No. 12-144, concerns a constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, a controversial ballot proposition that amended California’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage in that state. The second case, United States v Windsor, No. 12-307, involves a constitutional challenge to s. 3 of the federal Defence of Marriage Act, which narrowly defines marriage as only between a man and a woman.

The decision of the USSC to hear these cases comes at a time of increasing public support for marriage equality in the United States. At the very least, the USSC’s rulings will surely revive one of the most divisive social and political issues in that country. But it is clear that the result of these rulings could stymie the increasing recognition of marriage equality or provide it with constitutional grounding.

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