US: 32 states call on Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage

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A majority of US states have called on the Supreme Court to issue a ruling on same-sex marriage, across two separate legal briefs.

Both of the briefs, submitted this week, urge the Supreme Court to take up one of the pending marriage ban cases from Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia when it begins its new session next month.

In the first brief, 15 states in support of marriage urging the court to take up one of the cases case and overturn constitutional same-sex marriage bans.

It was filed by Massachusetts, and backed by California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington.

It reads: “States file this brief based on our shared belief that marriage equality advances many important governmental interests, as well as our shared interest in guarding against the evils of discrimination.

“In our experience, discrimination inflicts profound harm on individuals, communities, and society overall, especially when codified into law and affirmed by courts.

“That harm is not contained within the borders of States with exclusionary marriage laws.

“The lives of our residents are affected by the refusal to honour their marriages, and the unequal treatment of same-sex relationships demeans gay and lesbian couples nationwide.

“The time has come for the Court to resolve this issue on a nationwide basis.”

Meanwhile, in a second brief, 17 states who do not support same-sex marriage but are currently embroiled in legal battles surrounding it call on the Supreme Court to use its authority to resolve the issue.

It was filed by Colorado, and backed by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry said: “The stark and needless harms that delay inflicts underscore the urgency of the Supreme Court’s bringing our country to national resolution.

“Americans should not have to fight couple by couple, case by case, state by state, year by year to secure the freedom to marry and equal protection under the law that our Constitution promises to all of us.”