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Supreme Court hears arguments on Defense of Marriage Act

The United States Supreme Court

Questioning at the Supreme Court during oral arguments on Wednesday was just as intense as the previous day as justices grilled attorneys on standing and federalism issues related to the Defense of Marriage Act.

The prospects of the court striking down the 1996 law seem strong as no justices expressed any particular love for DOMA, but it’s possible the court may not reach consideration of the constitutionality of the law because of standing and jurisdiction issues.

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Clinton appointee, expressed concern over DOMA because benefits — including Social Security survivor benefits and access to family medical leave — are withheld from married same-sex couples under the law.

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What’s at stake as the U.S. Supreme Court takes up same-sex marriage

The United States Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in two cases this month that could decide the course of the fight for marriage equality for a generation.

The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Proposition 8, the ballot measure that ended same-sex marriage in California, on March 26.

“This case is about the fundamental constitutional right of every American to marry the person they love,” said Adam Umhoefer, executive director of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which represents two gay couples challenging the law.

Both a federal district court and a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have already found the measure unconstitutional.

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From the Supreme Court to Ga.: What the rulings could mean here

Supreme Court rulings on DOMA and Prop 8

The U.S. Supreme Court hears two landmark cases this month that deal with the question of marriage for same-sex couples.

No one can know how the court will rule, but legal experts have outlined several possible scenarios. Here are some of the most likely and what they would mean both nationally and here in Georgia.

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What’s at stake as the U.S. Supreme Court takes up same-sex marriage

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Only two Ga. congressmen sign brief urging Supreme Court to overturn DOMA

john lewis

You won't find many Georgia names among the 172 members of the U.S. House and 40 U.S. senators who signed a brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

The amicus brief was submitted March 1, signed by 212 senators and representatives — some 40 percent of the 535 voting Congress members, according to the LGBT blog New Civil Rights Movement.

The brief argues Section 3 of DOMA, which bars federal marriage rights to same-sex couples, "lacks a rational connection to any legitimate federal purpose, and is therefore unconstitutional."

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Georgia Equality joins ‘Red State Brief’ for same-sex marriage

Campaign for Southern Equality protest in Decatur

As the Supreme Court showdown on gay marriage nears, the friend-of-the-court briefs just keep coming. Georgia Equality has joined with other LGBT organizations to ask the court to strike down both the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8.

Dubbed the "Red State Brief," the brief comes from 28 organizations advocating for LGBT people in areas of the country, like Georgia, which are unlikely to advance marriage equality without a push from the federal level.

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March could be key month for gay marriage across the nation

Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two separate same-sex marriage cases in late March.

Arguments on Proposition 8, California’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages, are scheduled to be heard March 26, while arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions, will be heard the following day.

“I’m very hopeful that the court will move us forward in our work to end marriage discrimination, but that’s something we can’t control,” Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry, told GA Voice.

At issue in the DOMA case is the law’s Section 3, which has been found unconstitutional eight times by federal courts on issues including bankruptcy, public health benefits, estate taxes and immigration.

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Anti-gay boobs on the Hill, or DOMA defense renewed thanks to House Republicans

US House

Today marks the first official day of the 113th session of the United States Congress. With new appointments, incoming freshmen legislators and the drama of the fiscal cliff behind them, things are returning to what Washington considers “normal.”

One of the first acts of the Republican leadership in the House was to extend funding to continue the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act in its court challenges.

The Supreme Court announced in December that it would hear a challenge to the 1996 law that forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions. Lower court rulings have consistently found the law unconstitutional. The Department of Justice announced last year it would no longer defend DOMA in its many court challenges.

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U.S. Supreme Court to hear Prop. 8, DOMA cases

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage, as well as Proposition 8, the ballot initiative which ended gay marriage in California.

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No movement yet on marriage before the Supreme Court

Supreme Court of the United States

The United States Supreme Court still has not announced its decision on whether to hear same-sex marriage challenges from any of the six cases before the court.

The court could consider any of five challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions. DOMA has been found unconstitutional in eight previous rulings from lower courts.

Also before the court is a challenge to California's Proposition 8, the voter initiative that ended same-sex marriage in the state. It has also been overturned by lower courts, but remains in force during appeals. Prop 8 is being challenged by attorneys Ted Olsen and David Boies, who famously argued one another in 2000's Bush v. Gore case.

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Supreme Court sits on marriage decisions

Supreme Court of the United States

The United States Supreme Court was expected to decide today whether to hear any of several legal challenges involving same-sex marriage, but the court took no action in these cases, the website SCOTUSBlog reports.

The Supreme Court, after taking most of the day to prepare new orders, took no action Friday on the ten same-sex marriage cases now on the docket.

The court could issue a decision on whether to hear the cases as early as Monday, Dec. 3 but multiple media outlets have reported that Dec. 7 is more likely.

Stay tuned for more information.