Demonstrators return to Supreme Court as justices hear second gay marriage case

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WASHINGTON (AP) - For a second day, demonstrators are outside the Supreme Court as the justices hear a case involving gay marriage.

Today's crowd is somewhat smaller than yesterday's, and includes mostly gay marriage supporters holding American and rainbow flags.

Today's arguments on the federal Defense of Marriage Act focus on a provision that keeps married gay Americans from getting the same federal benefits that other married couples get. Lower federal courts have struck down the measure. The justices are hearing two hours of arguments today.

Yesterday's case involved California's voter-approved ban on gay marriage. The justices indicated they might avoid a major national ruling on whether gays have a right to marry. But even without a significant ruling, the court appears headed for a resolution that would mean gay marriages could resume in California.

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