On our way to the Supreme Court?

The cert petition for the Bourke v. Beshear and Love v. Beshear cases have been filed with the Supreme Court. All four states in the 6th Circuit have asked the Supreme Court to hear the cases which the 6th Circuit ruled on November 6, 2014.Prior to that ruling, the 6th Circuit had heard arguments from Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee about whether or not those states bans on same-sex marriage were constitutional. At this point, every other Circuit in the United States has ruled that the bans against same-sex marriage were not valid and could not be enforced. 

 Up until now, the Supreme Court hasn’t taken a case about same-sex marriage specifically. Now that 34 states have ruled to allow same-sex marriage, but the four states in the 6th Circuit have ruled that you can ban same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court is more likely to hear a case at this point.

Now, the Supreme Court can take one of the cases, all of the cases or a combination of the four filed currently. Or, they could deny to hear any of the cases, but that leaves the residents of Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan being treated differently than they would be in, currently, 34 other states. In light of that, the Supreme Court will most likely take a case to settle the same-sex marriage once and for all.

 If the Supreme Court does not take one of these cases, then the residents of Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee may have to go back to the ballot box in order to allow everyone in those states to be treated equally.

 As of today, all married people in the states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee are recognized federally, no matter their genders, but not under state law if the couple are of the same gender. These couples can file bankruptcy, file federal taxes together, etc., but can’t get divorced or have their marriage recognized in any other way just because they are of the same gender, but opposite sex married couples can. 

 So, until the Supreme Court rules, which would be at the earliest in spring of 2015, the unequal treatment is par for the course in these four states.

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