The court also has agreed to hear a second major affirmative action case next term.
U.S. Supreme Court justices will hear two gay rights cases this week that could revolutionize the way marriage is viewed in this country. People have been camping out for days in front of the court to snag one of the limited seats.
Jean Podrasky, 48, a lesbian who wants to marry her partner, and who just happens to be a first cousin of Chief Justice John Roberts, will be at the hearing.
The first case involves Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that defines marriage as between a man and a woman and whether gay marriage is a fundamental right. Justices also will hear a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, a federal law that also defines marriage as between a man and a woman and denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in the states they live in.
In addition, on Monday the court announced that it would take on a second affirmative action case and will review a Michigan constitutional amendment that barred colleges from considering race and gender when choosing applicants. The Supreme Court is currently considering a race-conscious admissions program at the University of Texas, on which a decision is expected in June.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)