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Supreme Court Sets
Dates For Marriage Cases

BY STAFF                                                                                                                             ©2013 Baptist Press

The U.S. Supreme Court has announced the dates it will hear two huge cases concerning lawsuits that could reaffirm the historical definition of marriage or lead to the legalization of gay marriage--March 26 and 27.

The high court will consider the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8 March 26 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act March 27. Combined, the two cases could lead to the legalization of gay marriage nationwide--or the affirmation of current laws. The court previously had announced it was taking the cases but it didn't reveal the oral argument dates until January 7.

Some are calling the cases the "Roe v. Wade" of gay marriage. But Christian groups are hoping for a more positive outcome.

At issue in the Prop 8 case is whether California--and possibly by extension any state--can legally define marriage as between one man and one woman. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case concerns a similar issue: whether the federal government can define marriage in the traditional sense, and thereby not recognize gay marriage in the states where it's legal.

Nine states recognize gay marriage, and 30 have constitutional amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The other 11 states define marriage in statutes as between a man and a woman.

If the Supreme Court strikes down California Prop 8, then the 41 states that don't recognize gay marriage could be forced to do so. If it overturns DOMA, then the federal government will be forced to recognize the gay marriages of the nine states where it's legal, something it currently does not.                                         

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