Monday, 10 December 2012 23:12

Supreme Court Will Hear New York DOMA's Challenge And California Marriage Equality Ban

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We expected an answer of the Supreme Court of United States in order to know if it was going to decide to hear the cases challenging DOMA and prohibitions of marriage equality. Friday, the Supreme Court has thus decided that it will hear the oral arguments in the challenge to the defense of marriage act in New York (see our article: DOMA Is Unconstitutional For Boston and New York Courts) as well as the prohibition for gay and lesbian couples to marry in California.

All was thus not accepted and we don't know yet if the court will hear the other challenges to DOMA as well as the case about benefits for same-sex domestic partners in Arizona because, certainly, these challenges are currently not on the list but the court didn't indicate it have rejected them.

According to Prop 8 Trial Tracker, the cases are likely to be held until the court issues a decision in the other two, and then will be sent back to the lower courts to determine how to move forward.

By hearing only the case of California, the decision of the court, which should be ruled in June, will have either consequences on all the other states prohibiting marriage equality or it will have consequences for this state and only this one.

It is important to specify that President Obama had said the issue was best left to the states to decide in the near term. But the Supreme Court's decision Friday may have sped up Obama's timeline, as reports NJ.

"There will be pressure for the Justice Department to weigh in on the Prop. 8 case," said Richard Socarides, a longtime gay rights activist and White House adviser to President Bill Clinton.

"I think this federalizes the issue much more quickly than the White House would have liked and may force them to take a position earlier than they would have liked," Socarides added.