Friday, January 16, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Takes Tennessee Same-Sex Marriage Case

Posted By on Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 4:51 PM

click to enlarge THOM KOSTURA AND IJPE DEKOE
  • Thom Kostura and Ijpe DeKoe
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take on same-sex marriages cases from Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio, and what they decide may resolve the same-sex marriage debate for good.

The four cases are on appeal after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld marriage bans in the four states last year. The Sixth Circuit's decision was a split from other appellate courts, the rest of which have ruled to overturn marriage bans. The U.S. Supreme Court has been expected to consider the cases, and now that the high court has agreed to do so, marriage equality advocates believe this move will decide the fate of marriage in the country once and for all.

The court will hear two-and-a-half hours of oral arguments in April. They justices are expected to issue a ruling by June of 2015. With regard to the Tennessee case, the court will consider whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and if the Fourteenth Amendment requires 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 Tennessee case is Tanco Vs. Haslam, which seeks to recognize the same-sex marriages of three couples from Tennessee. One of those couples — Ijpe DeKoe and Thom Kostura — is from Memphis (read more about their story here).

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