In mid January the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear four new cases on the issue of same-sex marriage. The focus of the Court’s review is a decision issued in early November by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. That decision upheld bans on marriage or marriage-recognition in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.
The cases in question are Bourke v. Beshear (Kentucky); DeBoer v. Snyder (Michigan); Obergefell v. Hodges, (Ohio) and Tanco v. Haslam, (Tennessee). These cases are linked and being argued as Obergefell v. Hodges. Arguments began on Tuesday, April 28th.
The questions the high court is considering are
- Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
- 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?
For a good analysis of the arguments before the court, check out the SCOTUSblog.
For further background information check out the book, Same-sex marriage in the United States: the Road to the Supreme Court, which tells the story of the legal and cultural shift regarding this social issue and how it has evolved over the past 15 years.
The justices will issue their decision by the end of June. We all await this decision.