Supreme Court accepts gay marriage case



Protestors gather outside a Florida courthouse to support gay marriage. 36 states across the United States have legalized gay marriage. Many states have obtained gay marriage rights due to the Supreme Court’s decision to turn down a case. Photo courtesy of MCT Photo.

Jenna Bao

The highest court in the country recently decided to take the fate of thousands of American couples into the nine justices’ hands. The sitting, which will take place in April, will determine the legality of same-sex marriage for all fifty states.

They will review the 6th Circuit’s decision to ban gay marriage in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky and decide whether state-level gay marriage bans and laws forbidding recognition of marriages performed out of state are constitutional.

“Nobody in this case … argues that the people who adopted the 14th Amendment understood it to require the states to change the definition of marriage,” Judge Jeffrey Sutton said.

This is the first time the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case regarding gay marriage since the 2013 case, Windsor vs United States, where five justices voted that federal benefits could not be kept from gay marriages in states that allowed such unions.

“[The Supreme Court must] resolve the issues creating the legal chaos that has resulted since Windsor,” Gov. Steven Beshear said in a petition to the Supreme Court.

Since then, the number of states allowing gay marriage has increased from 19 to 36. For five states, that was due to the Supreme Court’s refusal to review a case in October 2014.

The five to four majority vote from Windsor leaves gay marriage supporters hopeful of the verdict.

“We are finally within sight of the day when same-sex couples across the country will be able to share equally in the joys, protections and responsibilities of marriage,” legal director Jon Davidson said.