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Court to hear 2 days of arguments on gay marriage

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says it will hear two days' worth of arguments over laws affecting gay marriage during the last week of March.

Justices on Monday announced they will hear arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry on March 26 and United States v. Windsor on March 27.

The first case involves California's constitutional amendment that forbids same-sex marriage. The second concerns a federal law that denies gay couples who legally marry the right to obtain federal benefits available to heterosexual married couples. The court scheduled one hour's worth of arguments on each day. Justices still can extend the amount of time given to arguments in each case, however.

Nine states — Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington— and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.

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