The Supreme Court made it official on Friday – as the high court announced that they will take up California’s ban on same-sex marriage, reviewing a federal appeals court ruling that struck down Proposition 8.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year that the state could not take away rights that had been granted by California’s Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court also will decide whether Congress can deprive legally married gay couples of federal benefits otherwise applied to married people. A provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act limits a range of health and pension benefits.

The cases are expected to be argued in March with a possible decision in late June.

Both sides of the debate in California are applauding the decision. Same-sex partners said they are hopeful they can wed soon while opponents of gay marriage said they hope the high court will affirm the ban.

California Lieutenant Governor and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said this was “the beginning of the end” of the 8-year legal fight over gay marriage. Newsom was of course a key figure in the battle when he defied state law by ordering San Francisco City Hall to wed same-sex partners back in 2004.

 

 

Photo Credit: Jamison Wieser