As the Supreme Court wrapped up its high-profile 2011-2012 term, the pundits and politicians dominating the 24-hour news cycle could speak of little else but the political ramifications of its decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. However, just weeks after the high-profile ruling, lines are already being drawn over what could be the Court’s next big constitutional battle. Both Congress and the Department of Justice have asked the Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue of same-sex marriage, a topic it has not yet addressed directly.
The controversy centers on the constitutionality of section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. A handful of federal courts have already struck down section 3 of DOMA as unconstitutional.  Section 3 defines marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman for the purpose of any federal law, program or administrative function. 
DOMA was passed with a substantial bipartisan majority and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. President Clinton has since reversed his stance on the law and indicated he believes gay and lesbian individuals should have the right to marry and enjoy federal protections. 
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