A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that same-sex couples cannot marry nationwide, ruling that the Supreme Commission for the Welfare of Families and Households is not empowered to intervene in the matter.
The ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is likely to have a major impact on the states’ ability to enact same-day marriage bans in their state constitutions.
Marriage equality advocates hailed the court’s ruling.
“The Supreme Court today struck down an unconstitutional, unconstitutional, and cruel state-sanctioned and unconstitutional discriminatory marriage law,” the National Organization for Marriage said in a statement.
“This is a major victory for the LGBT community and all Americans, who deserve the freedom to marry, and a victory for states’ rights.”
The Supreme court’s 5-4 ruling means that same sex couples will not have to wait weeks for a hearing, as previously, in the case of same-night marriage.
Same-sex marriage is legal in 20 states, including Texas, Utah, Iowa, and Colorado, where the courts have previously ruled that bans are unconstitutional.
A federal judge in Massachusetts had ruled that the bans were constitutional, and it is unclear if the Supreme court will issue a stay.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has warned that if gay and lesbian couples in the U.K. are denied the right to marry the government will take action.
“A number of European countries have already expressed concern over the U,K.
government’s potential response to the UCC decision,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement.”
This includes, for example, the UK government’s recent announcement to deport LGBT people who were previously registered in the UK as a result of the UK’s gay marriage law.”
The decision by the Supreme Judicial Court of New York comes after the court refused to hear a case that sought to invalidate the state’s same-date marriage ban.
The court has been considering a challenge to a lower court ruling that overturned a lower courts ruling that struck down the ban.