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Among those filing briefs were 13 states, including four that do not now permit gay couples to wed, and more than 100 prominent Republicans, such as GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Two professional football players who have been outspoken gay rights advocates also filed a brief in the California case. Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo urged the court to rule in favor of same-sex marriage.
The Supreme Court has several options to decide the case that would be narrower than what the administration is asking. The justices also could uphold the California provision, as opponents of gay marriage are urging.
One group, the National Organization for Marriage, expects the Supreme Court to uphold the votes of over 7 million Californians to protect marriage, spokesman Thomas Peters said.
One day after the Supreme Court hears the California case, the justices will hear arguments on provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman for the purpose of deciding who can receive a range of federal benefits.
The administration abandoned its defense of the act in 2011, but the measure will continue to be federal law unless it is struck down or repealed.
In a brief filed last week, the government said Section 3 of the act "violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection" because it denies legally married same-sex couples many federal benefits that are available only to legally married heterosexual couples.
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