Dozens Brave Washington Snow For Tickets To Hear Gay Marriage Cases

WASHINGTON (AP) — People waiting to attend to gay marriage cases being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court have been undeterred by snow falling in the nation’s capital.

More than three dozen people were waiting Monday to get tickets to the cases, which will be heard Tuesday and Wednesday. Many of them were holding umbrellas or had tarps over their belongings as snow fell, and one woman was wearing a trash bag from the waist down. People standing in line included college students, a substitute teacher and an Army veteran.

The first people got in line for the cases on Thursday, and some people are being paid to hold places for others. Lines frequently form in advance for the free tickets to high-profile arguments, but five days before a case is particularly early.

The court is to hear a challenge Tuesday to California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, then arguments Wednesday concerning a part of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act that bars same-sex couples who are legally married from receiving federal tax, pension and other benefits available to other married people.

President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage last year. Other politicians also have recently followed suit, including former Democratic Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Republican Sen. Rob Portman.

Former President Bill Clinton signed the federal Defense of Marriage Act — which requires the federal government to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages — but he recently wrote an op-ed saying it’s time to overturn it.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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