High court takes up same-sex marriage

by Peter Sullivan and Lydia Wheeler | The Hill  |  published on January 16, 2015

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The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will take up the issue of gay marriage, adding to its docket a blockbuster case on an issue that has divided the country for years.

The decision, expected to come by June, could include declaring a nationwide constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

The Court is hearing an appeal from a ruling of the Sixth Circuit, which in November upheld bans on gay marriage in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.
That broke a streak of rulings striking down bans and helped force the Supreme Court to settle the split in lower courts.

In October, the Court ducked the issue of gay marriage by declining to hear any of seven cases on the issue before it. That decision was interpreted as a signal that the majority of the justices are content to allow lower courts to continue to strike down bans, without being forced to issue a contentious nationwide ruling themselves.