The U.S. Supreme Court will not wait any longer to rule on same-sex marriage.
The high court announced Friday afternoon (Jan. 16) that it would review an appeals court decision on the issue. The announcement came after a private conference among the justices the same day.
The court will hear oral arguments in March or April and likely issue an opinion before it adjourns this summer. Depending on the justices’ decision, gay marriage could be legal throughout the country by the end of June or states could maintain their authority to define marriage as only between a man and a woman.
Advocates on both sides of the issue recognized the importance of the high court’s order.
“This case could potentially transform the cultural landscape of America,” Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said. “We should pray for the court, that they will not seek to redefine marriage. Marriage was not created by government action, and it shouldn’t be re-created by government action.
“And even more than that,” Moore said, “we should pray for churches who will know how to articulate and embody a Christian vision of marriage as the one-flesh union of a man and a woman in the tumultuous years ahead.”
One of the leading supporters of same-sex marriage also commented on the high court’s decision to review gay marriage. “The Supreme Court’s decision today begins what we hope will be the last chapter in our campaign to win marriage nationwide — and it’s time,” Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, said.
Same-sex marriage is now legal in 36 states, nearly three times the number of states where it was legal just 18 months ago. It also is legal in the District of Columbia.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press