Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases

Bob Sodervick waves a gay pride flag outside of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on June 5, 2012 in San Francisco, California. A federal appeals court announced that it will not rehear arguments on the California's controversial Prop 8 same-sex ban paving the way for the case to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. | Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Friday to consider two key cases in the on-going debate over whether same-sex couples should have the right to marry.

One of the cases involves California's Proposition 8, an initiative constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage that was passed by voters in 2008. That amendment was later ruled unconstitutional in federal courts. If the justices decide to make a ruling, it could affect whether states have the right to ban same-sex marriage in the first place.

The other case involves the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. A key provision of DOMA prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages even when they were made legal at the state level.

We've got a recap of the events leading up to this moment. One of the plaintiffs in the DOMA case, federal lawyer Karen Golinski, spoke to Madeleine about her reasons for suing her employer.

Also, the SCOTUS blog has published a brief analysis of the court's decision. And the Supreme Court's decision is posted online here (the DOMA case is called U.S. v. Windsor, the Prop 8 case Hollingsworth v. Perry).

We'll keep following this story and bringing you updates.

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