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High court still undecided on whether to hear Defense of Marriage Act cases

Published November 30, 2012 4:34 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday didn't yet announce whether it plans to hear controversial cases related to gay marriage.

The nine justices met in a conference to decide which cases to hear in the coming months, but took no action on 10 same-sex marriage cases on the docket, according to the SCOTUS blog, which chronicles happenings with the high court.

The question the high court will grapple with if they decide to hear the issue is whether marriage will continue in the traditional definition of the Defense of Marriage Act — which cites marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman —or if the definition should change to include gay marriage.

Under DOMA, each state can ignore the marriages of gay people in other states. The federal law also does not recognize same-sex marriages as they relate to insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors' benefits and the filing of joint tax returns.

Two federal appellate courts agreed with trial courts that DOMA violates the civil rights of legally married gays and lesbians, which makes it an issue for the Supreme Court to decide, according to legal experts.

The court will issue another round of orders at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, the next opportunity to find out whether the DOMA cases will be heard. —

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