The U.S. Supreme Court will hear two separate challenges of laws that ban same-sex marriage this week. One focuses on the Defense of Marriage Act and a widow's fight against U.S. tax policy associated with it.
FOX News Radio's Jared Halpern previews from Washington:
After her spouse died in 2009, Edith Windsor was hit with a near-$400,000 tax bill, an Estate Tax traditionally married couples don't pay. So, Windsor sued, claiming discrimination.
(Kaplan) "What is a big deal is treating those marriages like second-class marriages."
Roberta Kaplan is arguing Windsor's case and says since the same-sex union is legally recognized in Windsor's home state of New York, that should be enough for the federal government.
(Kaplan) "This is the first time in our nation's history the federal government has over-ridden the states' rights to basically decide marital eligibility."
Opponents argue protecting traditional marriage is in the government's interest.
In Washington, Jared Halpern, FOX News Radio.
The other case being argued before the Supreme Court this week involved California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage.
FOX News Radio's Jessica Rosenthal is in Los Angeles, where she previews that case:
The limited studies done on this issue have been mixed and they've prompted a lot of disagreement, but for gay couples involved in this case, like Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, their children are the ones who suffer because they're not married.
(Perry) "We understand that discrimination hurts people and it hurts children from being their best selves and having every possible opportunity feel available to them."
But attorney John Eastman with the National Organization for Marriage says families are precisely the reasons why the state cares.
(Eastman) "We have them involved in marriage because that's the institution designed, tied to human nature. That is where we raise children that are the offspring of that relationship."
He says the state has a compelling interest to encourage responsible procreation.
Jessica Rosenthal, FOX News Radio.