Supreme Court to conference on gay marriage cases Nov. 20

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The U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether to review the federal constitutional challenge to California’s anti-gay Proposition 8 on Nov. 20.

That case, along with other gay marriage cases, will be considered during the justices’ private conference scheduled for Nov. 20, according to a news release from the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

Proposition 8, approved by voters on Election Day four years ago, eliminated marriage rights for same-sex couples in California.

The other cases before the Supreme Court deal with the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted by Congress in 1996 and bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages that are legal in the District of Columbia and six states.

AFER executive director Adam Umhoefer, in the news release on Oct. 29, said, "For far too long, gay and lesbian couples in California have been waiting to exercise the fundamental freedom to marry that the United States Constitution already tells them they have. With the distribution of our case for the Court’s consideration, we move one step closer to the day when the nation will be able to live up to the promise of liberty and equality enshrined in our Constitution, and all Americans will be able to marry the person they love.”

AFER is the sponsor of the challenge to Prop 8. AFER's plaintiffs are two couples who want to marry in California – Kris Perry and Sandy Stier and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo.

Last February, they won at the U.S. Court of Appeals level when the Ninth Circuit said Prop 8 is unconstitutional.

In August 2010, a U.S. District Court also found Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

In the marriage cases, the Supreme Court could agree to review the decisions, which would mean final verdicts on Prop 8 and DOMA could come in the spring or summer of 2013.

If the Supreme Court does not review the cases, the appeals court decisions stand.

The results of the conference decisions of Nov. 20 will be known on Nov. 26.