The U.S. Supreme Court this week is hearing historic arguments over two days in the nation’s two highest-profile marriage-equality cases.
Tuesday’s arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry focus on California’s Proposition 8, a measure approved by California voters in 2008 that banned same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution after same-sex couples had already been allowed to legally wed.
Wednesday will focus on the case of Windsor v. United States, a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law known as DOMA that prohibits recognition of same-sex relationships. New Yorker Edith Windsor was forced to pay more than $360,000 in federal estate taxes after the death of her wife, Thea Spyer, because the lack of federal recognition for their relationship makes Windsor subject to taxes that are not levied on heterosexual spouses.
With history at stake, activists on both sides of the marriage-equality fight have come to take their places.