Could this be the year -- finally -- when fundamental legal questions relating to same-sex marriage will be definitively resolved by the highest judicial tribunal in the country?
It now seems increasingly likely, given the recent announcement by the United States Supreme Court that the court will hear a case evidencing a split among the nation’s federal appellate tribunals concerning the legality of various states’ bans on same-sex marriages.
Court rulings had been consistently coming down in favor of gay marriage in the past couple years, until the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled late in 2014 that the same-sex marriage bans operative in a number of states were constitutional.
Supreme Court justices will now consider that ruling on appeal in April, with the court expected to issue a final ruling later this year, perhaps in June.
An announcement from the highest court in the land is obviously keenly anticipated and will have tremendous relevance throughout the country, including in Georgia, where same-sex marriage is still deemed unlawful. Gay marriage is currently lawful in 36 states.
The court will consider these specific questions on appeal:
First, must every state grant a marriage license to a same-sex couple requesting one?
Second, must every state legally recognize the marriage license of a gay couple that was obtained in another state?
Both proponents and foes of gay marriage alike applauded the court’s entry into the fray, which seemed a virtual requirement following the lower-court split on the matter.
We will of course keep our readers fully in the loop regarding key developments that emerge in this hot-button legal area.`
Source: CBS News, “Supreme Court to consider same-sex marriage,” Stephanie Condon, Jan. 16, 2014