The U.S. Supreme Court could rule any time on issues related to whether same-sex couples can legally marry.
The Court is considering whether states can ban same-sex marriage, and whether states that do can refuse to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. Both of those issues have been raised in Missouri, according to St. Louis University law professor Marcia McCormick.
“Missouri’s constitutional provision presents both questions that the Supreme Court has said it will decide, and the litigation about Missouri’s ban has concerned both of those questions, too,” McCormick told Missourinet.
So, the case being weighed in Washington D.C. goes right to the heart of the issue in Missouri.
McCormick says if the Court rules against proponents of same-sex marriage, that will raise many issues.
“If they say that the equal protection clause [of the U.S. Constitution] doesn’t require states to perform same-sex marriages if it’s going to perform marriages, and it doesn’t require states to recognize out-of-state marriages,” said McCormick, “what happens to the people that are married? Can the state retroactively dissolve their marriages? And then what happens when people from Iowa who are legally married move to Missouri?”
Many experts are predicting a close, 5-4 decision by the Court, but McCormick says it might be a slightly wider margin.
“I would not be surprised, actually, if it’s 6-3 in favor of the right to marry, if it’s defined narrowly enough,” said McCormick, “only because the chief justice’s questions seemed not overly hostile to the petitioners and not overly friendly to the respondents.”
The Court’s ruling is expected by the end of June.