Tomorrow is a big day for same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is going to review whether or not to add cases involving several issues including same-sex marriage and same-sex couples’ right to certain benefits to their docket.

California's Proposition 8

Proposition 8 is the state of California's ban on gay marriage. The proposition was determined unconstitutional by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Opponents of Prop 8 wants SCOTUS to review the measure and ultimately make same-sex marriage legal.

Where Is Same-Sex Marriage Legal Now?

Same-sex marriage is currently legal in:

  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • Iowa
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • The District of Columbia.

Washington, Maryland, and New Jersey all voted to allow same-sex marriage but as of this blog, it is not currently in effect.

Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) states in Section 3, for federal purposes, marriage means a legal union between and man and a woman. It also declared spouse to mean a person of the opposite sex. This essentially means even in states where same-sex marriage is legal, the same-sex spouse is unable to receive federal benefits - such as tax, health and pension benefits. Some of the states where same-sex marriage is legal  have appealed to SCOTUS in hopes of getting the federal DOMA law overturned.

Supreme Court Docket

SCOTUS is already scheduled to hear cases on affirmative action, national security and human rights, but they are reviewing tomorrow other cases they may potentially add to the list. SCOTUS mostly hears cases from lower federal courts and cases appealed from state supreme courts. They choose which ones to review and most of the time the cases address constitutional or federal law issues.