Washington (CNN) - Day Two of the culture wars at the Supreme Court over same-sex marriage, and another opportunity for the justices to give political and legal clarity to a contentious issue.
This all further intensifies interest in Wednesday's arguments on the constitutionality of a federal law that, like California, defines marriage as only between a man and a woman.
But a practical impact of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act means federal tax, Social Security, pension, and bankruptcy benefits, and family medical leave protections - do not apply to gay and lesbian couples.
The appeal centers on that element and involves Edith "Edie" Windsor, who was forced to assume an estate tax bill much larger than other married couples would have to pay. Because her decades-long partner was a woman, the federal government did not recognize the same-sex marriage in legal terms, even though their home state of New York did.
Shannon Travis previews the DOMA case arguments before the Supreme Court on "Early Start" this morning.
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(CNN) - North Korea on Tuesday served up its latest round of threats against the United States, saying it plans to place military units tasked with targeting U.S. bases under combat ready status.
The Supreme Command of the North Korean military said it "will put on the highest alert all the field artillery units including strategic rocket units and long-range artillery units, which are assigned to strike bases of the U.S. imperialist aggressor troops in the U.S. mainland and on Hawaii and Guam and other operational zone in the Pacific, as well as all the enemy targets in South Korea and its vicinity."
Angered by tougher U.N. sanctions and joint military exercises by the United States and South Korea, Pyongyang has issued a range of bombastic threats in recent weeks.
This morning on "Early Start," CNN's Matthew Chance reports on the latest threat from North Korea.
READ MORE: North Korea issues new threat to U.S. bases
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Washington (CNN) - The meaning of marriage.
It's an issue that does not get more basic, yet the complexity surrounding the legal, social, and political implications of expanding that right to gays and lesbians is now squarely before the Supreme Court.
The justices launch an epic public dialogue on Tuesday when they hear oral arguments in the first of two appeals to state and federal laws restricting same-sex marriage. The second round will be on Wednesday.
This morning on "Early Start," CNN's Shannon Travis looks at three possible outcomes in the case before the Supreme Court.
Amanda Knox's lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova, reacts to the Italian Supreme Court ruling that she should stand trial again.
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