April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse outside the 6th Circuit Court steps on Aug. 6., awaiting the Appellate court trial. BTL Photo: AJ Trager

SCOTUS To Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases In Historic Decision

BY AJ TRAGER

WASHINGTON D.C - The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has decided to hear arguments from four states arguing against states' bans on same-sex marriage.

The same-sex marriage cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee have all been consolidated for an upcoming hearing from SCOTUS. The Court has said it would rule on state power to ban same-sex marriage and state power to refuse recognition of such marriages performed out of state.

The hearings will most likely be heard in late April with a decision expected by late June.

"We are thrilled with the Supreme Court's decision today," said Gina Calcagno, campaign manager for Michigan for Marriage. "The country is ready for national resolution on this issue. We've heard from countless individuals -- families, faith leaders, business owners, elected officials and even our own courts -- it's time for marriage equality, for Michigan and for the United States."

In a decision made in October, SCOTUS refused to hear appeals from rulings allowing same-sex marriage in five states. The decision expanded the number of states with same-sex marriage from 19 to 24, along with the District of Columbia.

That decision paved the way for marriage equality throughout the country as federal judges from 12 other states found that banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

In November, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the states' ban on same-sex marriage creating an Appellate Court split which, many have speculated, pressured SCOTUS to take up the same-sex marriage issue in its 2015 term.

Currently 160,000 same-sex couples and their 60,000 children live in the 14 states and Puerto Rico where same-sex marriage bans are currently being enforced, the Williams Institute reports.

A press release is scheduled to be released at 5:30 p.m. at Affirmations.

"Marriage has returned to the U.S. 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," said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. "As Justice Anthony Kennedy said in the Windsor case, this is a struggle over whether our families are equal or whether they are second class. The U.S. Constitution does not tolerate second-class citizenship, a fact that has toppled discriminatory marriage bans from Utah to Arkansas. We've reached the moment of truth -- the facts are clear, the arguments have been heard by dozens of courts and now the nine justices of the Supreme Court have an urgent opportunity to guarantee fairness for countless families, once and for all."


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