MarriageEqualityarticle
 
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals announced on Wednesday that they will delay the hearing on cases involving challenges to the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage until after a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the same issue. 
 
On Tuesday, SCOTUS heard oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, to consider whether the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and whether states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states where they are legal. The decision is expected by the end of June.
 
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals was set to hear arguments from four states, including Missouri, defending same-sex marriage bans. 
 
U.S. District Court Judge Ortrie D. Smith declaried, Nov. 7, Missouri’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. While the Lawson v Kelly decision was stayed pending appeal by Attorney General Chris Koster, Jackson County — whose Recorder of Deeds was named as defendant — immediately began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the Kansas City metro area.
 
The following joint statement was issued by the ACLU of Nebraska, the ACLU of Missouri, and the national ACLU regarding the 8th Circuit's decision. The ACLU is counsel in the Missouri and Nebraska cases, which, along with cases from North Dakota and Arkansas, were scheduled for oral arguments on May 12.
 
"Every day that same-sex couples continue to be denied the protections and dignity that come with marriage causes serious harms to families. But after yesterday’s arguments in the marriage cases at the Supreme Court, we are hopeful that very soon all Americans will have the freedom to marry the person they love regardless of their sexual orientation. As the landscape rapidly changes, more and more businesses, faith leaders and policy makers see that the discrimination enshrined in the constitutions of Nebraska and Missouri is contradictory to Midwestern values. Same-sex couples have waited too long for their love to be recognized. The ACLU will continue our efforts to end discrimination faced daily by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Midwesterners."
 
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