Historic U.S. Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage May Be Upon Us
- January 26, 2015
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Same-Sex marriage became legal in New Jersey on October 21, 2013 following the decision in Garden State Equality v. Dow, N.J. 216, 314 (2013). Since that time, thousands of homosexual couples have received valid marriage licenses throughout the state. From 2013 until the present, and since the Supreme Court struck down the federal definition of marriage in the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor, the number of states that have come to legally recognize marriage equality has doubled. Currently, 36 states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples to marry and over 70% of the U.S. population currently live in a state where same-sex marriage is permitted or recognized. One by one, as the states legalized same-sex marriage many Americans began to wonder when and if the United States Supreme Court would take a case or cases that could lead to a nation-wide recognition of marriage equality. Legal theorists hypothesized that the Supreme Court may take up the issue once there was a circuit split in the U.S. Court of Appeals – well that time has come. Recently, the justices of the United States Supreme Court have granted review of four (4) pending cases in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld bans of same-sex marriage and the recognition of out of state legal same-sex marriages in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee splitting with its sister circuit court. The cases are DeBoer v. Snyder; Bourke v. Beshear; Tanco v. Haslam; and Obergefell v. Hodges. The arguments will be heard before the Supreme Court sometime in April of 2015 and a decision on the cases is expected to follow in June. The high Court permits 90 minutes for attorneys to argue whether or not the 14th Amendment requires a state to recognize and or provide licenses for homosexuals to legally wed. Subsequent to the Court taking these cases, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the United States Justice Department will file amicus briefs urging that the justices find that all individuals, gay or straight, have the right to marry. Therefore, it is very possible that gay and lesbian couples may be allowed to marry in any state in the United States by the end of the summer. If you are a gay or lesbian couple who plan on seeking a legal marriage or filing for a same-sex divorce or are simply someone who would like more information regarding the issue there are important factors that you should consider before doing so it is critical that you seek out the advice of an experienced attorney before proceeding. For more information about same-sex marriage, same-sex divorce, same-sex relationship dissolution, equitable distribution, alimony, custody and visitation or other family law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes and it is in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney.