This week, the Supreme Court will issue its decision in a high-profile case challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Also called DOMA, the law defines marriage as between a man and a woman, excluding same-sex couples from a broad spectrum of federal benefits.
Gay couples — and opponents of same-sex marriage — are waiting anxiously for the court’s opinion.
In the months leading up to the decision, WHYY spoke with Jason Grenfell-Gardner, who has not been able to sponsor his French partner for a green card because their marriage in New York State isn’t recognized by the federal government.
“It’s really such a tense moment,” he said late last Friday. “It’s hard to explain. But we just hope – we know there’s going to be an answer and we hope it’s the right one.”
The court also has a decision to make on California’s Proposition 8, an amendment to that state’s constitution banning same-sex marriage.
Brandon McGinley of the Pennsylvania Families Institute said he hopes the justices will rule in such a way that states including California and Pennsylvania can continue to restrict sex marriage within their own boundaries.
“That would be surely a relief to know that our highest court … will not hold the deeply held belief about marriage and the strongly held political opinion about marriage to be beyond the pale of American politics,” he said.
A recent national Pew poll found the public is split 51 percent in favor of same-sex marriage to 42 percent against.
Pennsylvania has what’s been called a “mini-DOMA,” its own statute defining marriage as between a man and a woman for the purposes of interacting with state law.”