The U.S. Supreme Court announced this week that it will hear two major same-sex marriage cases, marking what some say could be a decisive move in the "defining civil rights issue of our time," the Christian Science Monitor reported.
The two cases center respectively on California's Proposition 8, which struck down the state's legalization of same-sex marriage, and the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to legally-married same-sex couples, the Associated Press reported. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the Supreme Court will likely hear the cases next spring.
Many supporters of same-sex marriage celebrated the news, the New York Times reported. According to the Associated Press, opponents of same-sex marriage were pleased by the announcement.
"We believe that it is significant that the Supreme Court has taken the Prop 8 case. We believe it is a strong signal that the court will reverse the lower courts and uphold Proposition 8," John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, told the Associated Press.
Some supporters of same-sex marriage concerned about what could happen if the court decides that same-sex marriage is not constitutionally protected, the New York Times reported.
"There is no question that it is a risk," California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom told the New York Times. "If they nationalize it and reject it, that's going to take decades to come back to the court."