[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] on Monday approved a stay [order, PDF] blocking same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] in Indiana until the US Supreme Court [official website] weighs in on the issue. The stay will put on hold the September 4 decision [JURIST report] upholding lower courts’ rulings striking down the same-sex marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana. The number of pending cases regarding same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court has now reached five, and the court will have a meeting on September 29 to decide which new cases to take up in the coming term which lasts from October to June. If the Supreme Court does take up at least one of the cases, it could decide the issue of same-sex marriage for all 50 states.
The debate over same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] is one of the most polarizing issues currently facing the American legal community. Since the Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] section three of the Defense of Marriage Act last year, numerous state and federal courts have ruled on state same-sex marriage bans. Earlier this month the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments [JURIST report] in three cases involving same-sex marriage in Idaho, Nevada and Hawaii. Also this month 32 states asked [JURIST report] the Supreme Court to issue a definitive ruling on same-sex marriage. In late August the Florida Second District Court of Appeal issued an opinion [JURIST report] calling upon the Florida Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Also in August the Ninth Circuit dismissed an appeal [JURIST report] by the National Organization for Marriage over the lifting of Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban.