Gay current and retired federal employees are 'cautiously optimistic' about the Supreme Court agreeing to hear a Defense of Marriage (DOMA) case.

DOMA is the 1996 law which prohibits federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case related to the law. The plaintiff in Windsor v. United States, Edith Windsor, wants the IRS to recognize her 2007 marriage, but striking down the law would likely affect all federal agencies.

(Related: Supreme Court to hear gay marriage-related Prop 8, DOMA cases.)

“We're very, very hopeful on our end,” Joanne Pedersen, an Office of Naval Intelligence retiree, told The Washington Post. “It would allow me to put my wife on my health insurance. And as a federal retiree, that would greatly improve our finances.”

“I'm cautiously optimistic,” said Nancy Gill, a Postal Service employee. “I'm a positive thinker.”

Pedersen and Gill are represented by GLAD, the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, in a separate case challenging the constitutionality of DOMA.

Karen Golinski, a federal lawyer who is represented by Lambda Legal, said: “The ramifications of a decision … are really very huge.”

While legislation to repeal DOMA has been introduced in Congress, it has yet to gather sufficient support for passage, and appears unlikely to pass in the coming legislative session.