May 12, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Takes Up Same-Sex Marriage

On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the issue of whether it is constitutional for states to (1) prohibit same-sex marriage or (2) refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state.  The arguments centered on gay marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, four of the 13 states that currently prohibit it, according to a article.  The Court is expected to issue a decision by the end of June and, according to the same article, this promises to be the Court’s most anticipated ruling of the year.

The article cites a March 2015 NCSL Report, which states that in the last six months, the number of states that allow same-sex marriage has increased from 19 states and the District of Columbia to 37 states and the District of Columbia. 
Connecticut was the second state to allow same-sex marriage.  The state’s law evolved as follows:
  • 2005 - Connecticut became the second state to enact a state law providing civil unions to same-sex couples (PA 05-10)
  • 2008 - the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that the equal protection clause of the state constitution prohibits the state from denying same-sex couples the right to marry (Kerrigan v.  Dept. of Public Health, 289 Conn.  135 (2008), read an OLR report on the case)
  • 2009 - the Connecticut General Assembly passed a statute allowing same sex marriage and ending civil unions (PA 09-13
The NCSL Report summarizes the history of same-sex marriage laws in the United States.  Read more here.