The U.S. Supreme Court took up two cases involving the issue of same-sex marriage on Friday and agreed to decide if same-sex marriage is allowed in California and if the government can deny benefits to same-sex couples, the San Francisco Chronicle said.
In the cases, the court will review California's Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage and the provision in the Defense of Marriage Act (Doma) that limited benefits to same-sex couples, the Guardian said.
The court cases are scheduled for early next year and rulings are due by the end of June, the San Francisco Chronicle said.
This decision comes after the votes in three states, Maine, Maryland and Washington, approved same-sex marriage in the November election, the San Francisco Chronicle said.
The Supreme Court has "signaled its readiness to consider the civil rights issue of our time at an opportune moment in our history," San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera, who participated in gay rights groups, said to the San Francisco Chronicle.
According to a poll by Gallup, 53% of Americans believe that the law should recognize same-sex marriage and that same-sex couples should receive the same rights as heterosexual couples, the Guardian said.
Both sides of the issue welcome the court's decision to take up the cases. Bryan Fischer, a member of the American Family Association, acknowledged the importance of the cases, the Guardian said.
"It's good that the Supreme Court has taken up these issues," Fischer said to the Guardian. "What is needed is clarity at a national level."