Tags: Gay Marriage | Supreme Court | same-sex couples | Supreme Court | marriage | petition

Same-Sex Couples Seek Answer From Supreme Court

By    |   Friday, 14 Nov 2014 07:39 PM

Same-sex couples seeking the right to marry are asking the Supreme Court to settle the issue of gay marriage nationwide.

The petition filed Friday asks the court to review two cases questioning the constitutionality of Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban.

The petitions were filed by Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, and a private law firm on behalf of the gay and lesbian couples.

"These cases are about love, from birth to death," lawyers wrote in the petition. "Relationships at the heart of each case involve the love spouses share."

The petition urges the justices to review last week's lower court ruling that upheld anti-gay marriage laws in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.

The ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was the first appellate ruling to side with states that want to preserve gay marriage bans since the Supreme Court struck down part of a federal anti-gay marriage law last year.

Last month, the Supreme Court rejected appeals from five states of rulings favoring same-sex couples, but that was before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling created a division among lower courts.

Same-sex couples can marry in 32 states, parts of Kansas and Missouri, and the District of Columbia.

"We have reached a tipping point, and the lives of thousands of same-sex spouses and their families hang in the balance," Susan Sommer, director of constitutional litigation for Lambda Legal, said in a statement.

"The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling shines a spotlight on our divided country, where married same-sex couples are either respected or discriminated against, depending on where they live or even where they travel."

The New York Times reports an order Thursday in an immigration case hinted the justices had been divided about how to proceed last month.

Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Antonin Scalia, said the court ought to step in whenever a lower federal court strikes down a provision of a state law "even in the absence of disagreement among the lower courts."

"But for reasons that escape me," Thomas wrote, "we have not done so with any consistency, especially in recent months," citing several same-sex marriage cases.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Same-sex couples seeking the right to marry are asking the Supreme Court to settle the issue of gay marriage nationwide. The petition filed Friday asks the court to review two cases questioning the constitutionality of Ohio's same-sex marriage ban.
same-sex couples, Supreme Court, marriage, petition
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2014-39-14
Friday, 14 Nov 2014 07:39 PM
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