By the end of June 2015, the Supreme Court will reportedly decide if individual states are legally allowed to ban same-sex marriage.
On Friday, Jan. 16, the Supreme Court accepted several cases from same-sex couples in Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Michigan after an appeals court in Cincinnati, Ohio upheld the states’ right to impose restrictions in November 2014.
Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, one member of the three-judge panel of the appeals court, said that courts should not be the ones to rule on same-sex marriage, but rather that voters should be the deciding factors.
The plaintiffs in these cases have cited that “they have a fundamental right to marry,” stating that bans on same-sex marriage are degrading and have “inflicted particular harm on their children,” according to The New York Times.
In addition to deciding the states’ rights to ban same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court will also determine if states are obligated to recognize same-sex marriages that took place in other states.
According to Reuters, the Obama administration will file court documents officially supporting the movement to nationally legalize same-sex marriage.
“It is time for our nation to take another critical step forward to ensure the fundamental equality of all Americans – no matter who they are, where they come from, or whom they love,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.
Oral debates will begin in April, according to Reuters.
Editor’s Note: Information from Reuters, The New York Times and The Washington Post was used in this report.