Huge news for same-sex marriage!
The U.S. Supreme Court has chosen to hear the cases from all four states—Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee—in April of this year. This means Ohio has the chance to be a part of history and the ACLU of Ohio is proud to be a part of one of the cases that is taking us there. The decision will be announced in June.
Important Constitutional Questions will be Answered
The historical importance of what this means is hard to understate. The Supreme Court said they will answer the following questions:
1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?
The reason why this is so important is because these questions have never been considered before in the context of gay rights. The Supreme Court recently refused to hear other gay marriage cases in October of 2014 which then, by default allowed gay marriage in many states across the country. That was a signal from the court that has some speculating that a majority of the justices will say “YES!” to both of the above questions and gay marriage will be legal in all 50 states.
Why this Matters
The inability of the freedom to marry and the lack of recognition of marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states does present harm when people are denied these rights. Parents don’t have full legal rights over their children, loved ones are denied hospital visitation of spouses, and numerous legal burdens are unfairly placed on same-sex couples.
While we never know how the court will rule in the end, we are hopeful they will make the right decision and provide a clear victory for gay rights across the nation.
All eyes to June!