The Supreme Court will take up California's ban on same-sex marriage, a case that could give the justices the chance to rule on whether gay Americans have the same constitutional right to marry as heterosexuals. The court also will decide whether Congress can deprive legally married gay couples of federal benefits otherwise available to married people. Next, a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act limits a range of health and pension benefits, as well as favorable tax treatment, to heterosexual couples.
One of the cases, from California, could establish or reject a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
Another case, from New York, challenges a federal law that requires the federal government to deny benefits to gay and lesbian couples married in states that allow such unions.
According to SCOTUS Blog, the court is expected to hear arguments in late March and make a decision in late June.