Supreme Court will hear gay marriage cases

FILE - This Oct. 18, 2012 file photo shows Edith Windsor interviewed at the offices of the New York Civil Liberties Union, in New York. The fight over gay marriage is shifting from the ballot box to the Supreme Court. Three weeks after voters in three states backed it, the justices meet Friday to decide whether they should deal sooner rather than later with the idea that the Constitution gives people the right to marry regardless of a couple's sexual orientation. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

FILE - This Oct. 18, 2012 file photo shows Edith Windsor interviewed at the offices of the New York Civil Liberties Union, in New York. The fight over gay marriage is shifting from the ballot box to the Supreme Court. Three weeks after voters in three states backed it, the justices meet Friday to decide whether they should deal sooner rather than later with the idea that the Constitution gives people the right to marry regardless of a couple's sexual orientation. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will take up California’s ban on same-sex marriage, a case that could give the justices the chance to rule on whether gay Americans have the same constitutional right to marry as heterosexuals.

The justices said Monday they will review a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the state’s gay marriage ban, though on narrow grounds. The San Francisco-based appeals court said the state could not take away the same-sex marriage right that had been granted by California’s Supreme Court.

The court also will decide whether Congress can deprive legally married gay couples of federal benefits otherwise available to married people. A provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act limits a range of health and pension benefits, as well as favorable tax treatment, to heterosexual couples.

Credit: The Associated Press

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