The LGBTQ community and its allies cheered earlier this month when the United States Supreme Court announced that it would review the freedom to marry in 2015. Reports Adam Polaski on the Freedom to Marry blog, “Today, January 16, the United States Supreme Court announced that this year, they will hear arguments in a case on the question of whether same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry and if anti-marriage laws nationwide should be struck down as unconstitutional.” This is huge; if the Supreme Court deems anti-marriage laws unconstitutional, it will mean that all same-sex couples will have the freedom to marry in America.
The SCOTUS Blog confirmed this news last week, explaining:
“Taking on a historic constitutional challenge with wide cultural impact, the Supreme Court on Friday afternoon agreed to hear four new cases on same-sex marriage. The Court said it would rule on the power of states to ban same-sex marriages and to refuse to recognize such marriages performed in another state.”
The blog entry also explains that a “total of two-and-a-half hours was allocated for the hearings,” and that a final ruling is expected by early next summer, likely in June. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the freedom to marry, by next summer, this right will be afforded to all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientations.
Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson said “The Supreme Court’s decision today begins what we hope will be the last chapter in our campaign to win marriage nationwide – and it’s time,” of the news that Supreme Court would be reviewing the constitutionality of same-sex unions. Others echoed Wolfson’s statement, including Shannon Minter, the Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Minter said,
“Currently, same-sex couples in many states face a constitutionally intolerable situation because their home state treat them as legal strangers. Even legally married couples can instantly lose protections of marriage if they travel or move to a state that does not recognize their marriages. We hope the Supreme Court will finally bring an end to the harms that same-sex couples and their children face when they are treated unequally and excluded from marriage.”
This good news represents a groundbreaking moment in the fight for marriage equality. However, it should not detract from the fact that inequality is still prevalent in many facets of our culture. Same-sex couples across the country are gaining the freedom to marry, but lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are still discriminated against in the myriad other facts of society. We must all keep fighting for a more equal world.