This year will likely be one for the history books, as the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to rule on: (1) whether all states must allow same-sex marriage ceremonies within their borders, and (2) whether same-sex marriages performed in states recognizing such unions must also be recognized by states that do not — two issues the court before has consistently refused to consider.
The court granted certiorari for four petitions from the 6th Circuit, consolidating DeBoer v. Snyder, No. 14-571 (U.S. Jan. 16, 2015); Bourke v. Beshear, No. 14-574 (U.S. Jan. 16, 2015); Obergefell v. Hodges, No. 14-556 (U.S. Jan. 16, 2015); and, Tanco v. Haslam, No. 14-562 (U.S. Jan. 16, 2015).
In previous petitions for certiorari, the court has refused to hear cases that asked for clarity on these particular same-sex marriage issues. The difference now, however, is that there is a split among the federal circuit courts, and such a controversy is needed for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the constitutional questions presented.
Same-sex marriage is legal in 36 states, many of which began recognizing same-sex marriage initially for tax purposes.
The Department of Justice released a statement announcing that it will file an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief urging the court to mandate state recognition of same-sex marriage on a national scale. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling early this summer.
Continue the discussion on Bloomberg BNA’s State Tax Group on LinkedIn: Do you think the U.S. Supreme Court will rule same-sex marriage is protected by the U.S. Constitution across the states?
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