U.S. Supreme Court set to end debate over gay marriagePosted by Lawrence Lease on January 17, 2015
After decades of arguing, the United States Supreme Court has agreed to consider four cases. The four cases come from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The court has allowed more time for hearing arguments from one hour to two-and-a-half hours.
Supporters of traditional marriage want the decision to play out in politics, rather than have a judge’s order allow same-sex couples to be married. Thirty-six states permit gay people to get married, which covers nearly 70 percent of the American population. The issue comes before the court after a wave of lower court rulings struck down marriage bans in nearly 60 separate cases.
The court faces answering two questions; first, whether the American Constitution forces states to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. Secondly, whether states are required to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. Court decisions currently on hold have struck down bans in five states. The court will hear arguments in April and make a decision by late June.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council released a statement calling the court’s decision a “long-overdue ruling to restore the freedom of the people to uphold marriage in their state laws as the union of a man and a woman.”
Attorney General Eric Holder spoke up for the White House administration saying they are urging the court to make marriage equality a reality for all Americans. Americans have changed their opinion on the subject from 27 percent approval in 1996 to 55 percent approval for same-sex marriage in 2014.
Some within the Republican party believe this issue will play a key role in the 2016 presidential race. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has slowly changed his position towards same-sex marriage and recently said in a statement: “We live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law,” and called for “respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue.” Former Fox News host Mike Huckabee last year threatened to leave the party if they cave on the issue. However, one political strategist believes that gay marriage will not be a “hallmark” of the 2016 race.
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