The Supreme Court has just announced that it will hear four cases involving the constitutionality of same-sex marriage laws around the United States. The hearings will most likely be in April with a decision in June.
Two central questions will be considered according to the Court’s statement granting certiorari:
- Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
- Does the Fourteenth Amendment require 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 answers to these questions will decide the future of marriage across the United States. If the answer to the first question is “Yes,” then same-sex marriage will be legalized nationwide, and the second question would be irrelevant. If the answer to the first question is “No,” but the second question is answered “Yes,” then it will authorize de facto same-sex marriage across the country. If both questions are answered “No,” then the status quo will continue.
The New York Times notes:
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.
This could be one of the most pivotal decisions of the Supreme Court in a generation. It will impact the future of marriage in this nation for generations to come. This is a time for us to be in earnest prayer for the justices of the Supreme Court. I pray that they will uphold the design for marriage that God has created and has been recognized for all of human history up to the last decade. The future of marriage is at stake.
Supreme Court Order 574 U.S., January 16, 2015.
Adam Liptak, “Supreme Court to Decide Whether Gays Nationwide Can Marry,” The New York Times, January 16, 2015.
Lyle Denniston, “Court will rule on same-sex marriage,” SCOTUSblog, January 16, 2015.