Supreme Court Will Rule on Gay Marriage
Justices to hear cases on California's Prop 8 and DOMA
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 7, 2012 2:31 PM CST
This 2010 file photo shows Karen Golinski, right, hugging her wife Amy Cunninghis as they pose for a photograph outside of a federal court building in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

(Newser) – The Supreme Court will take up California's ban on same-sex marriage, a case that could give the justices the chance to rule on whether gay Americans have the same constitutional right to marry as heterosexuals. The justices said today they will review a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the state's ban on same-sex weddings, though on narrow grounds.

The court also will decide whether Congress can deprive legally married gay couples of federal benefits otherwise available to married people. A provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act limits a range of health and pension benefits, as well as favorable tax treatment, to heterosexual couples. The cases probably will be argued in March, with decisions expected by late June.