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Top US court gives boost to same-sex marriage

In landmark rulings for gay rights, the US Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a law denying federal benefits to homosexual couples and cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California. Cheers rang out on both coasts among supporters of gay marriage after the historic decisions, with 1,000 people celebrating outside the high court in Washington and hundreds more rejoicing in San Francisco. The sharp divisions on the high court over the issue mirrored those across the United States, and the nine justices stopped short of legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

U.S. Supreme Court scraps anti-gay marriage law

The Supreme Court of the United States on Wednesday struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal benefits to married same-sex partners and also allowed for the resumption of same-sex marriage in California. While gay marriage is legal in some U.S. states, the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, keeps same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and other benefits.

Landmark day for same-sex marriage after two U.S. Supreme Court rulings

WASHINGTON - A marriage made in Toronto was at the heart Wednesday of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act on a historic day that also cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California, the most populous state in the union. The ruling on the federal U.S. legislation known as DOMA gives spouses in same-sex unions a full array of tax, health and pension benefits.

Gays celebrate landmark US same-sex rulings

Gays and lesbians across the United States erupted with joy Wednesday after the Supreme Court passed two landmark rulings on same-sex marriage in their favor. In San Francisco, which has one of the biggest gay communities in the country, more than 400 people had gathered outside City Hall for the early morning rulings broadcast from Washington, DC. When the first ruling was announced, on the Defense of Marriage Act, the crowds erupted in cheers, stamped their feet and couples threw their arms up in the air together.

Obama applauds high court ruling on gay marriage

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday hailed the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a law defining marriage as between a man and a woman -- a major victory for gay couples. "I applaud the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act," Obama said shortly after the announcement of the 5-4 decision ending the 1996 law. "This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it."

The state of gay unions in the US

Gay marriage is legal in 12 out of 50 US states, as well as in the capital Washington, but the Defense of Marriage Act forbids the federal government from recognising same-sex unions. Here is an overview ahead of an expected Supreme Court ruling on the matter: FEDERAL BAN DOMA defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, granting legal recognition only to heterosexual marriages.

US top court signals it could nix gay marriage law

The Supreme Court signalled Wednesday it could throw out a US law that defines marriage as strictly between a man and a woman, in a second day of hearings on the thorny issue of same-sex marriage. For nearly two hours, the nine justices who make up the nation's highest court grilled lawyers on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) -- with five of them appearing to lean in favor of striking it down.

US top court signals it could nix gay marriage law

The Supreme Court signalled Wednesday it could throw out a US law that defines marriage as strictly between a man and a woman, in a second day of hearings on the thorny issue of same-sex marriage. For nearly two hours, the nine justices who make up the nation's highest court grilled lawyers on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) -- with five of them appearing to lean in favor of striking it down.

Supreme Court tackles US law on gay marriage

The US Supreme Court tackled same-sex unions for a second day Wednesday, indicating it might throw out a federal law that defines marriage in strictly one-man, one-woman terms. For nearly two hours, its nine justices questioned the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), with five of them appearing to lean in favor of striking it down. The controversial 1996 law prevents couples who have tied the knot in nine states -- where same-sex marriage is legal -- from enjoying the same federal rights and benefits as heterosexual couples.

Supreme Court tackles US law on gay marriage

The US Supreme Court tackled same-sex unions for a second day Wednesday, hearing arguments for and against the 1996 US law defining marriage as between one man and one woman. After the nine justices mulled arguments on a California law outlawing gay marriage on Tuesday, they took up a challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The 1996 law prevents couples who have tied the knot in nine states -- where same-sex marriage is legal -- from enjoying the same federal rights as heterosexual couples.
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