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Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 8:51am

Ga. Unaffected By SCOTUS Marriages Cases

No matter what happens with two same-sex marriage cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this week, gay marriage will probably remain against the law in Georgia, according to Mercer University law professor David Oedel.

First up on Tuesday is the Prop 8 case. Californians passed a gay marriage ban in a state-level referendum that a federal judge later struck down as unconstitutional. It’s likely that the justices will keep their ruling in that case limited to California, Oedel said, unless the justices make "a very broad statement of the equal protection rights of people to be married."

On Wednesday the high court will consider a New York woman’s challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

"[The court] could strike down the federal DOMA law, which would say that the federal government has to accord any state laws that protect marriage rights, regardless of whether they’re same-sex marriage rights or other marriage rights," Oedel said. "So that one could have broader implications, but not to Georgia or 30 other states that have constitutional provisions against same sex-marriage."