The Supreme Court
stepped into the gay marriage debate for the first time on Friday by
agreeing to review two challenges to federal and state laws that define
marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
The high court agreed to review
a case against a federal law that denies married same-sex couples the
federal benefits heterosexual couples receive. It also took up a
challenge to California's ban on gay marriage, known as Proposition 8,
which voters narrowly approved in 2008.
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