Supreme Court About to Take Up Gay Marriage Issue

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    The question: Can gay marriages be banned, or ignored, by the federal government? (Published Friday, Jan. 17, 2014)

    (NECN/NBC News:  Brian Mooar, Washington) - The national debate over same-sex marriage is heading from Main Street to the highest court in the land.

    The Supreme Court has agreed to take up in the issue -- looking at whether same-sex marriages can be banned, or ignored, by the federal government?

    The court has agreed to hear a pair of cases destined to define marriage and the role of government in regulating it.

    In Washington state, there is celebration as couples were the first to get marriage licenses under a new law allowing same-sex marriage.

    Together 16 years, Sue Hopkins and Marji Lynn will be married on Sunday,

    But as soon-to-be-newlyweds celebrate in Washington state ...

    … In Washington, D.C.,  the highest court in the land is about to take its first serious look at same-sex marriage.

    The Supreme Court has agreed to look at two questions.

    Whether the federal government can ignore gay marriages in states where they're legal.

    And whether those marriages can be banned --  as California did, with Proposition 8.

    Supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage are celebrating the court's decision to clarify the debate.

    "Unions of two men or two women are not the same thing as a marriage between a man and a woman,” said Brian Brown of the National Organization For Marriage.

    A national question now about to go before the Supreme Court, with answers destined to be legal landmarks for our generation.

    The court is expected to hear the cases in March and announce a decision by next June.