Setting the stage for a potentially historic ruling, the Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide whether same-sex couples have a right to marry everywhere in America under the Constitution.
The justices will take up gay rights cases that ask them to declare for the entire nation that people can marry the partners of their choice, regardless of gender. The cases will be argued in April, and a decision is expected by late June.
Proponents of same-sex marriage said they expect the court to settle the matter once and for all with a decision that invalidates state provisions that define marriage as between a man and a woman. On the other side, advocates for traditional marriage want the court to let the political process play out, rather than have judges order states to allow same-sex couples to marry.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera says the city will file a brief in support of same-sex couples in other states. Herrera has been arguing the legal case for same-sex marriages since the city first allowed them in February of 2004.
"I'm very proud that San Francisco was there at the beginning and that we played a small part in spurring a political debate and legal decisions that are going to bring equality to people across the country," he said.