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How Can A Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage Affect Mass?

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — In an announcement Friday, the Supreme Court said it would hear two cases that challenge the definition of marriage on both state and federal levels.

“The one out of California is challenging the constitutionality of Prop. 8, which, as you remember legalized gay marriage, then they passed a popular referendum that then again banned it. So they’re discussing whether or not that is legal or constitutional to do,” said Northampton Attorney Marissa Elkins.

The other case comes out of New York, and as Elkins explains, it’s challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, or, DOMA, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

The outcome could directly affect folks here in Massachusetts, because GLADD is fighting a similar case in Boston.

“The second case, the DOMA case, is challenging the constitutionality of marriage, the federal law. Because that law is in place, if you’re married and have equal marriage rights in Massachusetts as a same sex couple, you’re still nonetheless treated as single by the federal government for tax purposes, disability, social security and things like that,” she added.

Even though Kelsey Lynn doesn’t have the same benefits as her neighbors, Massachusetts did lead the charge in gay marriage. She’s hoping that the federal government will follow suit.

“If you just think about where we were 25 years ago, I would have thought, no way am I going to see marriage equality. It’s just a bunch of dominoes of you really are talking about rights, our constitution protects them for all individuals. Every citizen. There’s nothing that me having marriage equality is going to take away from someone else,” Lynn stated.

9 states now legalize gay marriage.

A decision on the issue is expected from the Supreme Court in June

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