DES MOINES–On Wednesday, Sept. 10, the United State Supreme Court formally added a number of marriage equality cases to the justices’ agenda for a closed-door conference later this month on Sept. 29. Seven marriage cases from 5 states (Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana and Wisconsin) met the court’s filing deadline, which means the justices may take up one or more of the cases in its 2014-2015 term, which begins Oct. 6.
The last major ruling from the Supreme Court on marriage equality was the historic June 2013 Windsor v. United States decision striking down section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law that prohibited the federal government from recognizing legal marriages between gay and lesbian couples for federal benefits. Since then, there have been a total of 39 pro-marriage rulings from state and federal courts, invalidating marriage bans in 19 states. In addition, marriage equality lawsuits are pending in all states that do not currently allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia, including Iowa, currently enjoy the freedom to marry. (Click here for more information.)