Politics

U.S. Supreme Court Sets Gay Marriage Hearing Date

| by Kathryn Schroeder
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The U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for April 28 to decide whether states can ban gay marriage, and big business and hundreds of Republicans are showing the Court they support equal marriage rights for all.

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed Thursday, 379 businesses and groups representing employers in various fields, including Google Inc., American Airlines Group Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Johnson & Johnson, signed on in support of gay marriage, reports Reuters.

The support for same-sex marriage did not stop there.

More than 300 veteran Republican lawmakers, operatives and consultants also filed a friend-of-the-court brief at the Supreme Court showing their support for same-sex marriage on Thursday.

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Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman organized the amicus brief that was filed for the four same-sex marriage cases the Supreme Court will hear on April 28, reports TIME. The cases could legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.

The Republican signatories include 23 current and former members of the House of Representatives and Senate, and seven current and former Governors. Billionaire GOP donor David Koch was among those who signed the brief, as did former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Sens. Susan Collins and Mark Kirk, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman have signed onto the brief, too.

In 2013, the brief had 131 signatories; the list has now grown to 303.

“There’s been an increase since the last time in public support for marriage equality across all ideological, racial, and political groups,” Mehlman said.

A conservative case is made in the brief to remove same-sex marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

“Although amici hold a broad spectrum of socially and politically conservative, moderate, and libertarian views, amici share the view that laws that bar same-sex couples from the institution of civil marriage, with all its attendant profoundly important rights and responsibilities, are inconsistent with the United States Constitution’s dual promises of equal protection and due process,” the brief states.

President Obama’s administration is also due to file a brief backing same-sex marriage before the April 28 hearing.

The Supreme Court hearing will decide whether same-sex marriage bans are prohibited by the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

The ruling of the Court is due by the end of June.

At this time, 37 states allow gay marriage, although Alabama is undergoing a legal battle as the state’s top court has put the ruling on hold.

Sources: TIME, Reuters

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