Supreme Court Will Decide on Gay Marriage Issue

The announcement means same-sex unions could be legalized within months.

US Supreme Court will hear gay marriage cases in April
Plaintiffs Paul Katami and his long-time partner Jeff Zarrillo embrace at a rally for marriage equality. (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
A Bay Area native, Andri Antoniades has previously worked as a fashion industry journalist and a medical writer.

Arguments regarding same sex marriage have finally reached their boiling point. Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark order that it will hear two cases challenging the constitutionality of gay marriage bans. The result could be a long-awaited federal law legalizing same-sex unions, and it may come as quickly as April.

The court will hear two cases on the matter; one challenging California’s Proposition 8, and the second challenging the federally mandated Defense of Marriage Act, referred to as DOMA, both of which prohibit same-sex marriage.

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Prosecutors describe themselves as "elated' to have finally reached this milestone in their on-going legal battle to mandate marriage equality. The plaintiffs’ co-counsel Theodore B. Olson explained today in a conference call with TakePart, “It’s the most important civil rights issue of our time.”

Olson represents two couples who sued the state of California for the right to marry their partners; Sandy Spier and Kris Perry, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo.

In her reaction to today’s long-awaited event, Spier says, “Proposition 8 is causing harm to couples everyday. It’s clearly not constitutional and highly discriminatory. And it’s better…for people across the country to benefit from the hard work of this case and for everyone to have the same access [to marriage] that we want to have.”

And while some remain steadfastly against the issue of marriage equality, or consider it a concern that's mostly a "gay issue," those with a stake in the case say otherwise.

Masen Davis, the Transgender Law Center’s Executive Director said in a statement today, “Marriage equality is an issue that affects many members of the transgender community. It helps all of us when the government gets out of the business of policing people’s gender and using gender to define who gets access to important benefits. Marriage equality is an important issue for the entire LGBT community.”

Plaintiff Jeff Zarrillo has been battling to marry his long-time partner, Paul Katami, in what's so far been a three-year ordeal. According to Zarrillo, it's been worth it, "We got involved because we wanted to get married and we were being discriminated against. They [the U.S. Supreme Court] have a job to step in when the rights of the minority are being discriminated against. When we win this case, it’s not four people that wins, it’s thousands."

What do you expect the outcome will be of the U.S. Supreme Court hearing in April? Will marriage equality become a law? Let us know in the Comments.

A Bay Area native, Andri Antoniades previously worked as a fashion industry journalist and medical writer.  In addition to reporting the weekend news on TakePart, she volunteers as a webeditor for locally-based nonprofits and works as a freelance feature writer for TimeOutLA.com. Email Andri | @andritweets | TakePart.com

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