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Gay marriage decision on Supreme Court's doorstep

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Updated: 6/10/2013 5:00 pm
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Supreme Court is ruling this month on cases that affect the civil rights of millions of Americans.

Sam Baker covers the high court for "The Hill."

"The anticipation is really high," Baker said.

It will remain high for same-sex couples around the country awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions on two cases.

"No matter what the court does, you're going to see a huge impact on millions of people and a really important precedent the court is going to set," Baker said.

The justices are set to rule on California's Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriage. An appellate court struck that down.

If the Supreme Court upholds that decision, same-sex marriages can begin again in California. If the Court says all same-sex marriage bans are illegal, that would effectively legalize gay marriage nationwide.

Then there's the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. It keeps same-sex couples from getting hundreds of tax benefits that traditional couples receive.

Baker expects the court to reveal rulings in both cases on the same day, but not for two weeks.

"It's been recent tradition the biggest case of the term is the last one," Baker said. "That's how it worked with health care last year."

The Supreme Court continues making rulings on cases every Monday and Thursday for the next two weeks.
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