The Supreme Court waded into the fight over same-sex marriage today, at a time when public opinion is shifting rapidly in favor of permitting gay and lesbian couples to wed, but 40 states don’t allow it.
According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted in mid-March, 49 percent of Americans now favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, with 44 percent opposed.
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On Wednesday, the justices will consider the federal law that prevents legally married gay couples from receiving a range of benefits afforded straight married Americans.