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As Wedding Bells Ring Out in Florida, Is Marriage Equality Coming to the Supreme Court?

James Esseks,
Director, LGBTQ & HIV Project,
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January 7, 2015

Wedding bells have begun ringing out across the Sunshine State.

County clerks all across Florida yesterday started accepting marriage license applications from same-sex couples, thanks to an ACLU case. That makes Florida the 36th freedom-to-marry state and means that 71 percent of the U.S. population now lives in a state where same-sex couples can wed.

Happy new year, folks!

The exuberance and relief felt now in Florida has set the stage for this Friday, which may well start the end game in our struggle for the freedom to marry nationwide. That's when the Supreme Court will first consider whether to grant review in five cases – from Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee – about the freedom to marry.

The ACLU is proud to be co-counsel on the Ohio and Kentucky petitions. The court could grant review on Friday, grant review later this month, or possibly just deny review altogether (although that's quite unlikely). If the court grants review soon, it will be able to hear arguments in the cases and decide them by June 2015. If it waits much longer, it would not be able to hear the cases until next term, meaning a decision would likely come out sometime in 2016.

We've asked the Supreme Court to take up the issue this year, since there are so many people all across the country who literally cannot wait a second longer to be able to marry or to have their home states respect their marriages.

Stay tuned, it's going to be a big year.

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