The Supreme Court announced Friday it will rule for the first time on same-sex marriage by deciding the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, the voter initiative that limited marriage to a man and a woman.
The justices also said they would decide whether legally married gay couples have a right to equal benefits under federal law.
The California case raises the broad question of whether gays and lesbians have an equal right to marry.
"The justices now will have at least three options before them: They could reverse the 9th Circuit and uphold Prop. 8, thereby making it clear that the definition of marriage will be left to the discretion of each state and its voters.
They could rule broadly that denying gays and lesbians the fundamental right to marry violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws. Such a decision would open the door to gay marriages nationwide.
Or as a third option, they could follow the approach set by the 9th Circuit and strike down Prop. 8 in a way that limits the ruling to California only..."