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U.S. Supreme Court Saves Biggest Decisions for Last

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PHOTO: Maryland activists will watching the U.S. Supreme Court this week and waiting for key rulings on same-sex marriage. Photo credit: Equality Maryland
PHOTO: Maryland activists will watching the U.S. Supreme Court this week and waiting for key rulings on same-sex marriage. Photo credit: Equality Maryland
June 24, 2013

BALTIMORE - Supporters of same-sex marriage are looking for big news from the United States Supreme Court this week. The justices typically adjourn during the last week of June, and that means decisions on some of the biggest cases are likely in the next few days. Among them are rulings on California's same-sex marriage ban and the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, a federal law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

According to Carrie Evans, the president of Equality Maryland, newly-married same-sex couples in Maryland are hoping the court will strike down DOMA, so they can be eligible hundreds of federal marriage rights and benefits.

"It's an anxious time," she admitted. "It reminds me of a lot of 2007 here in Maryland, when we were waiting for our own court here to decide whether or not same-sex couples had the right to marry under our constitution."

Evans stated that DOMA prevents same-sex couples from accessing federal benefits relating to social security, health care, immigration, and more.

She said that if the court were to uphold DOMA, the fight would return to Congress.

"That will be a long, probably, and arduous process," Evans warned. "But it is sort of the only route left if the Supreme Court does not find DOMA unconstitutional."

Other big decisions expected this week involve affirmative action polices at colleges and universities, and a challenge to the Voting Rights Act.

Alison Burns, Public News Service - MD