By Anna Peirano
The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear a challenge to Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.
They met in a private conference Friday morning, and their decisions were announced Friday afternoon.
Depending on how the cases go, there are two things the Supreme Court could do. The first regarding Prop 8 is to establish a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The second, concerning the Defense of Marriage Act, would change the definition of marriage, currently cited as between a man and a woman, to be more inclusive. This verbiage affects more than 1,000 federal laws and programs throughout the country.
If the federal court were to establish the right to same-sex marriage in California based on its ruling concerning Prop 8, it would set the precedent for the other 39 states which currently have laws banning such marriages.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement that, “The passage of Proposition 8 caused heartbreak for so many Americans, but today’s announcement gives hope that we will see a landmark Supreme Court ruling for marriage this term.”
And on the potential for DOMA to fall, Griffin said, “I am confident that the Justices will find this law patently unconstitutional and the federal government will get out of the business of picking which marriages it likes and which it doesn’t,” said Griffin.
The justices are expected to reach a decision on both cases by June of 2013.