Minnesotan camps out for US Supreme Court case on gay marriage

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A Minneapolis native now living in Washington, D.C. is among the throng who have been camped out for several days in wintry weather for a seat inside the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday when justices consider a historic case on gay marriage.

Jessica Skrebes has been camped out since Saturday, MPR reports. "I believe that our Constitution demands equality and I think that (same-sex marriage) is coming, and I think that it's our civil rights issue," she told MPR.

Meanwhile on Monday, dozens held a vigil in Minneapolis to "light a way" for the high court, the Associated Press reported.

In one of the most widely anticipated court hearings of the year, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday and Wednesday are hearing arguments that could ultimately chart the future of gay marriage in this country.

The high court is considering two cases. One will focus on California's Proposition 8's ban on gay marriage, and issues related to whether gays and lesbians have an equal right to marry under the Constitution. On Wednesday, justices will hear arguments in the case United States v. Windsor, which challenges the constitutionality of a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act. The act was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1996, and prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages. (Earlier this month, Clinton penned an opinion piece saying that he now believes the act is "incompatible with our Constitution.")

One issue the justices will wrestle with is whether the act is a federal overreach, especially in states that allow gay marriage, Yahoo! News reports.

The court cases will be heard as the Minnesota Legislature mulls whether to legalize gay marriage in the state. House and Senate panels have approved the legislation and full floor votes are likely after budget battles have been settled, lawmakers have said.

How will all this play out? The Los Angeles Times considers what the high court's options are.

The court may choose to act with caution rather than boldness as it wades into the issue with an overwhelming majority of state laws pointing one way and public opinion moving quickly in the other, the Washington Post reports.

NPR reports that the cases are being heard as attitudes on gay marriage are shifting in America.

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