Supreme Court to Rule on Whether Same-Sex Couples Can Marry Nationwide
And then we had a game-changer. This afternoon the Supreme Court announced that it would decide if all 50 states should allow same-sex marriage. More from the New York Times, which seems cautiously optimistic about a ruling in our favor.
The court’s announcement made it likely that it would resolve one of the great civil rights questions of the age before its current term ends in June.
The justices ducked the issue in October, refusing to hear appeals from rulings allowing same-sex marriage in five states. That surprise action delivered a tacit victory for gay rights, immediately expanding the number of states with same-sex marriage to 24 from 19, along with the District of Columbia.
Largely as a consequence of the Supreme Court’s failure to act in October, the number of states allowing same-sex marriage has since grown to 36, and more than 70 percent of Americans live in places where gay couples can marry.
The pace of change on same-sex marriage, in both popular opinion and in the courts, has no parallel in the nation’s history.
Based on the court’s failure to act in October and its last three major gay rights rulings, most observers expect the court to establish a nationwide constitutional right to same-sex marriage. But the court also has a history of caution in this area.
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