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The U.S. Supreme Court's stand on same-sex marriages

The United States Supreme Court is currently debating the issue of whether same-sex marriages should be allowed across the United States. The state of Washington, as well as 36 other states, including Washington D.C., have already permitted gay marriages, going back as far as 2012. Currently, 13 states in the United States do not recognize same-sex marriage under their respective laws. If a Supreme Court ruling permits same-sex marriage across the nation, the states will lose their right to regulate their respective marriage laws.

Earlier in 2013, a Supreme Court ruling allowed legally married gay and lesbian couples to obtain federal benefits. The decision on this current case will determine whether the states retain their right to ban same-sex marriages. If the Supreme Court comes to the conclusion that the U.S. Constitution does not grant rights to same-sex couples to get married, they must then decide how same-sex marriages are handled in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages.

The Supreme Court bench also seems fairly divided. One of the main contentions against same-sex marriage is based on the issue of regulation of marriage for the purpose of procreation.

The issue of whether equal protection of law under the Constitution is extended to gay couples will be decided by the Supreme Court in June of this year. Some fear that imposing same-sex marriage on states will lead to religious unrest, while pro-gay rights activists are optimistic that the country will understand the importance of marriage equality once a ruling is made.

Source: USA Today, "Justices appear cautious, divided on same-sex marriage," Richard Wolf and Brad Heath, April 28, 2015

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