On Thursday, the day after the Supreme
Court ruled on two cases related to gay marriage, the high court
denied review of 10 additional related cases.
Eight of the cases challenged the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), specifically the provision on access
to federal benefits for married gay and lesbian couples that the
justices struck down on Wednesday.
The other two cases, however, involved
state laws related to marriage and gay couples.
In Brewer v. Diaz, Arizona
officials sought to reverse a Ninth Circuit Court decision barring
enforcement of a 2009 state law which ended health benefits for gay
state workers in a domestic partnership. The law defined “dependent”
for the purposes of benefits as “spouse,” effectively cutting out
gay couples who are prohibited from marrying in Arizona.
In Coalition for the Protection of
Marriage v. Sevcik, supporters of Nevada's constitutional
amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual unions sought to have the
justices recognize a state's right to enact such marriage bans.
Nevada's amendment is being challenged
by eight gay couples who wish to marry in the state. A federal judge
in Reno last year upheld the amendment, ruling that the voters had
approved it in 2002 for the “legitimate purpose” of protecting
traditional marriage. Plaintiffs appealed the ruling, while the
Coalition for the Protection of Marriage, which supports the marriage
ban, filed an appeal directly to the Supreme Court.
As usual, the justices did not explain
why the cases were denied.