US Supreme Court to consider gay marriage

Later today the US Supreme Court will meet to consider the legal status of gay marriage after three US states –  Maine, Maryland and Washington  – voted to legalise same sex unions earlier this month.

Despite the votes, a 1996 federal law called the Defense of Marriage Act continues to define marriage as a “union between a man and a woman”, thereby denying same sex partners the same legal and financial rights as heterosexual couples. The Supreme Court has now been asked to reassess this law and decide how to resolve any challenges to the legal status of gay marriage. The judges will consider whether the federal government has the right to treat same sex unions differently if they have taken place in states where gay marriage is legal.

President Barack Obama is known to be opposed to the Defence of Marriage Act and in favour of changing the law.

Earlier this week, film star Brad Pitt, who has publicly supported gay marriage, welcomed the votes in Maryland, Maine and Washington. He told Mtv.com:

“Equality, absolutely, that’s what defines us. It’s what makes us great. If it doesn’t sit well with your religion, let your God sort it out in the end, but that’s us. We’re equal.”

 Photo by Archie McPhee under a Creative Commons licence 

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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