The American Civil Liberties Union on Sept. 9 was filing petitions asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review — and uphold — a federal appeals court ruling striking down Wisconsin and Indiana bans on same-sex marriage.
The ACLU is representing same-sex couples in both states, as well as gay and lesbian couples seeking marriage rights in other states.
In Indiana, the ACLU argued before a federal appeals court in late August on behalf of thirteen same-sex couples in Indiana and Wisconsin who either want the right to marry in one of the states or who want their home state to recognize their marriage.
The ACLU also is the co-counsel in Bostic v. Schaeffer, the case challenging Virginia’s marriage ban on behalf of a certified class of approximately 14,000 same-sex couples. That case is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, along with cases from Oklahoma and Utah.
Last week, after the federal appeals court struck down the bans in Indiana and Wisconsin, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said he would ask for a U.S. Supreme Court review. It turns out this is what parties on all sides of the issue want.
Thirty-two states — those with bans on same-sex marriage and those where gay couples can legally marry — have asked the Supreme Court for a final ruling on the issue.
Civil liberties and LGBT civil rights groups also want the high court to rule.
“Now that there are petitions before the Court in five cases, it’s crystal clear that the Court needs to take up the freedom to marry issue again. Same-sex couples from every corner of the country are affected, and the high court has the opportunity to end the harm caused by these discriminatory and unconstitutional marriage bans,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “Since last June, dozens of courts around the country have ruled in favor of equality for loving and committed same-sex couples. With these filings, we hope it’s only a matter of time before all Americans in all fifty states have the freedom to marry.”