Last week the US Supreme Court announced it would hear two cases next year relating to same-sex marriage.

The main case concerns the constitutionality of Proposition 8, a voter initiative in California that banned gay marriage. In June 2008, same-sex couples were granted a license to marry after a Californian Supreme Court ruled that they have a constitutional right to marry. This decision was overturned after more than one million signatures were received in a petition to see the fulfilment of Proposition 8.

The second case relates to entitlements - whether a couple is recognised when it comes to tax laws, health insurance and other federal benefits for spouses. The situation is different to here in Australia where laws were changed in 2008 to remove discrimination from same-sex couples when it came to tax, health, superannuation and other benefits.

The New York Times has advocated for same-sex marriage but a recent article published by the newspaper raises doubts about whether the time is right for such a case. The cases will be argued in March with a decision expected in June.

ACL's Chief-of-Staff Lyle Shelton was recently interviewed on the ACL's Political Spot radio program on the Supreme Court's decision to hear the cases on gay marriage. Listen to his thoughts here.