The Supreme Court has finally agreed to hear four appeals of lawsuits challenging state bans on same-sex marriage — Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. The court waited until there was a circuit split, which happened when the 6th Circuit upheld the bans in those states late last year.
The justices ordered that the parties to the cases address two questions in their legal briefs: whether the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and whether states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states where they are legal.
Advocates have called gay marriage the modern era’s most pressing civil rights issue, and the court’s action could mark the culmination of an unprecedented upheaval in public opinion and the nation’s jurisprudence.
The nation’s first same-sex marriage, the result of a Massachusetts court decision, took place less than 11 years ago. Now, more than 70 percent of Americans live in states where gay couples are allowed to marry, according to estimates.
My prediction remains the same: At the end of June this year, the Supreme Court will declare all such laws unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause and we will finally have marriage equality nationwide. And then the heads of bigots all over the will asplode. And then I’ll laugh. A lot.