Supreme Court Takes Up Prop. 8, DOMA Debates



Today and tomorrow, the Supreme Court will attend to two hotly debated issues centering around marriage equality in this country.

With tides ebbing clearly in one direction (at speeds reminiscent of glaciers), public opinion around the U.S. has swung dramatically in overall favor for gay marriage and, ultimately, equality in such matters. In Ohio, a major movement is under way to place a referendum before voters in November.

This week's widely publicized trip to the Supreme Court highlights a civil rights struggle that has been fomenting - less and less privately - for decades. Here's at least one local data point to etch out the magnitude of the legal, legislative and popular decisions to come:

According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 19,684 same-sex couples are living in Ohio, representing 4.3 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

Justices this morning will likely issue opinions on Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative that relegated "marriage" to only a man and a woman. According to SCOTUSblog, it is unlikely that this issue will be upheld:

Tomorrow, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is on the table. This 1996 law also serves to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

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