Setting the stage for a potentially historic ruling, the Supreme Court has announcedit will decide whether same-sex couples have a right to marry everywhere in America under the Constitution.
In a move that sets the stage for a historic final decision, the court said it would convene in April to study cases in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky, which have banned same-sex marriage.
Justices will address two questions: whether states are bound by the Constitution to license a same-sex marriage, and whether a state is required to recognize same-sex marriages which took place out-of-state.
If they answer yes, same-sex marriage will become legal in all 50 US states.
“That will urge the Supreme Court to make marriage equality a reality for all Americans. It is time for our nation to take another critical step forward to ensure the fundamental equality of all Americans—no matter who they are, where they come from, or whom they love.”
Attorney General Eric Holder
The Justice Department made the decision to advocate for same-sex marriages several years ago.
“Marriage has returned to the US Supreme Court faster than virtually any other issue in American history, and there’s a simple reason for that. Committed and loving gay and lesbian couples, their children, and the fair-minded American people refuse to wait a single day longer.
We’ve reached the moment of truth … now the nine justices of the Supreme Court have an urgent opportunity to guarantee fairness for countless families, once and for all.”
Chad Griffin, Human Rights Campaign
In a landmark decision in June 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a law denying federal benefits to homosexual couples by defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In doing so, it cleared the way for married gay and lesbian couples to enjoy the same rights and privileges under federal law as their straight counterparts.
Gay marriage is headed to the SUPREME COURT. Lets get ready to rumble. Raise your voices, share your stories. You deserve justice. #equality
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 16, 2015