Gay Marriage

March 15, 2013 • Volume 23, Issue 11
Will the Supreme Court end curbs on same-sex unions?
By Kenneth Jost


Cuc Vu and Gwen Migita, right, leave the courthouse (Getty Images/The Washington Post/Bill O'Leary)
Cuc Vu and Gwen Migita, right, leave the courthouse in Washington, D.C., after applying for a marriage license on March 3, 2010, the first day licenses were available in the District of Columbia. (Getty Images/The Washington Post/Bill O'Leary)

The Supreme Court is set to confront the issue of gay marriage for the first time in 40 years in two cases set for argument in late March. Same-sex couples are asking the justices to strike down California's Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state just six months after a court ruled that preventing gays and lesbians from marrying was unconstitutional. In a second case, a New York City widow is urging the court to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which limits federal benefits for same-sex couples. Edith Windsor had to pay a $363,000 federal tax bill on her late wife's estate that would not have been levied on an opposite-sex spouse. The Obama administration says both laws are unconstitutional. House Republicans stepped into the Windsor case to defend DOMA. Court watchers say the justices are likely to be closely divided along conservative-liberal lines, with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy widely seen as having the pivotal vote on the nine-member bench.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Individuals
Mar. 15, 2013  Gay Marriage
Mar. 01, 2011  Gay Rights
Sep. 18, 2009  Gays in the Military Updated
Sep. 26, 2008  Gay Marriage Showdowns Updated
May 05, 2006  Transgender Issues
Oct. 01, 2004  Gays on Campus
Sep. 05, 2003  Gay Marriage
Apr. 14, 2000  Gay-Rights Update
Mar. 05, 1993  Gay Rights
Sep. 04, 1992  Domestic Partners
Jun. 29, 1984  Gay Politics
Mar. 08, 1974  Homosexual Legal Rights
Jul. 10, 1963  Homosexuality: Morals and Security
Civil Rights: Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered
Domestic Issues