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U.S. Supreme Court sets dates to hear Prop 8, DOMA cases

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court today announced that it will hear oral argument in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, on Tuesday, March 26.

Enacted in November 2008, Proposition 8 eliminated the fundamental freedom of gay and lesbian Californians to marry. On Dec. 7, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review in Perry to consider whether Proposition 8 violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The Perry case was filed on May 22, 2009, in federal District Court on behalf of two California couples, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo.

On Feb. 7, 2012, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a landmark ruling upholding the historic August 2010 decision of the federal District Court that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

The U.S. Supreme Court also indicated today that it will hear oral argument in United States v. Windsor, a challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), on Wednesday, March 27. Enacted by Congress in 1996, DOMA nullifies the marriages of gay and lesbian couples for all purposes of federal law.

The U.S. Supreme Court will receive written briefs from the parties in Perry and Windsor prior to hearing oral argument.