The Supreme Court will hear arguments about gay marriage, it announced on Jan. 16.
Does the Constitution require that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live, or are states free to limit marriage to its traditional definition as a union only between a man and a woman?
“I really do hope that the Supreme Court rules in favor in same-sex marriage,” said Ginger Amedio, president of the CVHS Gay and Straight Alliance (GSA). “I do believe gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry. States do not have the right to ban same-sex marriage.”
Sophomore Reinald Padilla also agrees, saying, “Even if they’re gay, we can’t take away their right of marriage. Love is love and we can’t ban that. We should allow them to marry whoever they want.”
The court agreed to hear four cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee where restrictions on same-sex marriage were upheld by an appeals court.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the case in April and will decide the issue by the time the current term ends in June.
The Supreme Court’s review will be over a decision made in early November by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The decision upheld bans on marriage or marriage-recognition in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.
The Supreme Court ordered that the parties to the cases address two questions in their legal briefs: whether the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and whether states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states where they are legal.
The cases that the court will consider this spring have questions left open since 2013 when the Supreme Court last discussed the issue on same-sex marriage. The slim majority stated that an important portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, holding back on the recognition of same-sex marriages, was unconstitutional and in a separate case allowed same-sex marriages to continue in California.
Since then, courts across the nation have ruled against the state prohibitions on same-sex marriage, many of them passed by voters.
In 2012, just nine states and Washington D.C. legalized gay marriage. Today, 36 states and Washington D.C. allow gay marriage. According to estimates, about three out of four same-sex couples live in a state where they are allowed to marry. The other 14 states may ban same-sex marriage but are all under court challenge.
Spokesmen and supporters call same-sex marriage today’s most crucial civil rights issue. People across the nation are eager and waiting for the ruling.