Landmark Gay Rights Cases Head for Supreme Court

Calif. gay marriage ban before court tomorrow

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 25, 2013 4:39 AM CDT | Updated Mar 25, 2013 5:38 AM CDT

(Newser) – The gay marriage debate moves to the Supreme Court this week, where justices will hear arguments for and against the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8 ban tomorrow. The federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, will be before the court on Wednesday. Decisions are not expected until mid-June.

  • Among those in seating reserved for guests and family members of conservative Justice John Roberts will be his cousin Jean Podrasky, who wants to marry her female partner of four years. "He is a smart man," she tells the Los Angeles Times. "He is a good man. I believe he sees where the tide is going. I do trust him. I absolutely trust that he will go in a good direction."

  • The lesbian couple at the heart of the Proposition 8 case, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, will be in the court tomorrow when lawyer Ted Olson tries to persuade the court that California's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, a move that would open the door to gay marriages nationwide. In an interview with the AP, they note that, with the youngest two of four boys they've raised together headed for college, life has often been more about being soccer moms than gay rights activists. Still, "I hope this will be something a lot bigger than the two of us," says Perry.
  • Dozens of people stood in line in front of the court over the weekend in a bid to get seats for the historic cases. Many, however, were being paid by one of several companies that charge hefty sums to secure places in line for big cases, the New York Times finds. Critics say the existence of such services strengthens the argument for allowing Supreme Court proceedings to be televised.

This Feb. 8, 2013 photo taken shows Sandy Stier, left, and Kris Perry, the couple at the center of the Supreme Court's consideration of gay marriage, at their home in Berkeley, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jessica Skrebes of Washington reads while waiting in line with others outside of the US Supreme Court in Washington on the weekend.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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