The U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases involving same-sex marriage next March and likely issue a ruling in June 2013, in one of the most widely anticipated cases in recent years.
Last June, the nation watched as the court decided, in dramatic fashion, the fate of the Affordable Care Act.
And next year, the court will hear arguments again about one of the most highly publicized issues of the new century.
Constitution Daily contributor Lyle Denniston has background and analysis on the court’s announcement on Friday. (See Denniston's previous stories below.)
The first case involves California’s Proposition 8 law, which outlawed same-sex marriage, only to be overturned in court.
The second case involves the Defense of Marriage Act.
The justices have also apparently left open an option to not decide either case after hearing the March arguments.
The court also will consider if Congress can deprive legally married same-sex couples of federal benefits otherwise available to married people.
Same-sex marriages are legal, or will be soon, in nine states, while similar unions are banned in 31 states.
Recent Constitution Daily Stories
What’s the court doing with same-sex marriage cases? Constitution Check: Would an Obama victory turn the Supreme Court sharply to the left? Constitution Check: Will the politics of 2012 influence the constitutionality of gay marriage?