U.S. Supreme Court Could Take Up Gay Marriage Issue Friday

DETROIT (WWJ) – The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide on Friday whether to take up the issue of gay marriage.

The court could decide whether Michigan has the right to overturn a voter-approved gay marriage ban.

That’s after a federal judge ruled Thursday that the state must recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages performed during a brief window last year, but stayed that ruling for 21 days pending any appeal by the state.

University of Detroit Mercy law professor Larry Dubin says public opinion on the issue has changed since the state ban passed in 2004, and it’s important for the justices to recognize that.

He believes now is the time and the court will take up the case.

“With over 35 states permitting same sex marriage, it strengthens the argument for the proponents of that issue that it’s a violation of the Equal Protection clause to deny people of the same sex to be able to have a valid marriage,” Dubin told WWJ’s Sandra McNeil.

“The Attorney General of our state is taking the position that the will of people in the referendum that was passed banning same sex marriage should take priority; and the issue is it can’t take priority if there’s a violation of a constitutional right, which is what the court ultimately has to decide,” he said.

Dubin said this is a human rights issue.

“So I certainly think it would be the right thing to do and appropriate for the Unites State Supreme Court to give some finaity to this issue so that people can understand their rights,” he said.

Dubin said if the Supreme Court decided in favor of gay marriage, it would not force any particular church or religion to marry same sex couples; it would simply afford same sex couples to enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples.

He said if the court does take the issue up, he expects it will be decided within a few weeks.

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