This week, the Supreme Court will issue its decision in a high-profile case challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Also called DOMA, the law defines marriage as between a man and a woman, excluding same-sex couples from a broad spectrum of federal benefits.
Gay couples -- and opponents of same-sex marriage -- are waiting anxiously for the court's opinion.
In the months leading up to the decision, WHYY spoke with Jason Grenfell-Gardner, who has not been able to sponsor his French partner for a green card because their marriage in New York State isn't recognized by the federal government.
"It's really such a tense moment," he said late last Friday. "It's hard to explain. But we just hope - we know there's going to be an answer and we hope it's the right one."
The court also has a decision to make on California's Proposition 8, an amendment to that state's constitution banning same-sex marriage.
Brandon McGinley of the Pennsylvania Families Institute said he hopes the justices will rule in such a way that states including California and Pennsylvania can continue to restrict sex marriage within their own boundaries.
"That would be surely a relief to know that our highest court ... will not hold the deeply held belief about marriage and the strongly held political opinion about marriage to be beyond the pale of American politics," he said.
A recent national Pew poll found the public is split 51 percent in favor of same-sex marriage to 42 percent against.
Pennsylvania has what's been called a "mini-DOMA," its own statute defining marriage as between a man and a woman for the purposes of interacting with state law."