The U.S. Supreme Court in April is going to hear arguments from four cases—coming from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee—challenging bans on same-sex marriage.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the high court is set to decide whether same-sex couples around the country have the constitutional right to wed. "Today’s announcement sets the stage for final resolution of the debate about marriage equality for same-sex couples nationwide," a press release from the ACLU said.
“We are thrilled the court will finally decide this issue,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project
, in a statement. “The country is ready for a national solution that treats lesbian and gay couples fairly. Every single day we wait means more people die before they have a chance to marry, more children are born without proper protections, more people face medical emergencies without being able to count on recognition of their spouses. It is time for the American values of freedom and equality to apply to all couples.”
In November, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld bans in those four states. As of today, a total of 14 states do not allow same-sex marriage and 36 do.
Arizona's ban, stemming from a 1996 law and a 2008 constitutional amendment approved by state voters, was struck down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in October. At the time, ruling after ruling also killed prohibitions in Nevada, Idaho and a few other states.
According to The Associated Press, the Supreme Court is expected to make a decision by summer.