Today, the United States Supreme Court issued an order granting review in Hollingsworth v. Perry (formerly Perry v. Brown), the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8. Enacted in November 2008, Proposition 8 eliminated the fundamental freedom of gay and lesbian Californians to marry. With today’s order, the Supreme Court will consider whether Proposition 8 violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The Supreme Court also granted review in United States v. Windsor, a challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Enacted by Congress in 1996, DOMA nullifies the marriages of gay and lesbian couples for all purposes of federal law.
At Freedom to Marry:
Moments ago, the Supreme Court announced in an order that it has decided to hear the Proposition 8 case and a challenge to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in 2013. Now, the Court must schedule the cases for oral arguments, which are likely to be heard in the spring of 2013. We should hear final news on rulings in both cases by June of 2013.
Our founder and president Evan Wolfson reflected on the news that the Supreme Court will hear Windsor v. United States, one of the key challenges to DOMA:
By agreeing to hear a case against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the Court can now move swiftly to affirm what 10 federal rulings have already said: DOMA’s “˜gay exception’ to how the federal government treats married couples violates the Constitution and must fall. When it comes to the whole federal safety net that comes with marriage – access to Social Security survivorship, health coverage, family leave, fair tax treatment, family immigration, and over 1000 other protections and responsibilities – couples who are legally married in the states should be treated by the federal government as what they are: married.
(Marriage is a Basic Civil Right poster via AFER)