The Supreme Court on Monday announced
the dates they will hear two cases related to gay marriage which they
agreed to hear last month.
Hollingsworth v. Perry, the
legal challenge to Proposition 8, the 2008 voter-approved
constitutional amendment which put an end to the weddings of gay and
lesbian couples taking place in California after the state Supreme
Court legalized such unions, will be heard on March 26. Defenders of
Prop 8 appealed February's U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling
declaring that the marriage ban violated the Constitution's guarantee
of equal protection.
The second case, United States v.
Windsor, will be heard on the following day, March 27.
The case involves Edith Windsor, an
83-year-old lesbian widow who had to pay more than $360,000 in estate
taxes after the death of her wife, Thea Spyer, because the government
would not recognize their 2007 marriage due to the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA). The women shared their lives together for 44
The Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit agreed with Windsor's assertion that DOMA is
unconstitutional. The 2-1 ruling was also the first to apply
heightened scrutiny to the unions of gay couples.
The court is expected to rule on the
two cases in June.