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How Supreme Court Taking Up Gay Marriage Will Affect Indiana

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide on the issue of same-sex marriage this year.

NPR reports the court will review a recent 6th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to uphold the ban on same-sex marriage in Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky.

The announcement comes after the Supreme Court denied a request to hear appeals from five other states, including Indiana. That decision allowed lower court rulings overturning the ban to stand, legalizing same-sex marriage in Indiana and 10 other states.

But the Supreme Court’s move creates the possibility that gay marriage could again  become illegal in Indiana.

The 6th Circuit’s decision created inconsitancy between the appeals court, essentially forcing the Supreme Court’s into taking on the issue.

ACLU-Indiana legal director Ken Falk says if the nation’s high court allows states to decide the issue of marriage, Indiana could reinstate its gay marriage ban. But Falk says he doesn’t see it going that way.

“There’s a lot that has happened now and we can’t turn back the hands of time," he says. "The court’s not going to be in a position where it, in essence, voids tens of thousands of marriages around the country; that seems untenable.”

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller praised the Supreme Court justices' decision to take up the issue.

“A conclusive U.S. Supreme Court ruling has been needed to decide whether state governments have the authority to define marriage, and now that the Court has accepted the question, hopefully a decision can be issued to provide nationwide clarity," he said in a statement. "While a decision will not resolve the conflict within our society over this issue, hopefully we can resolve the legal uncertainty that exists."

After the Supreme Court’s decision in October, Indiana’s “traditional marriage” supporters expressed hope the justices would revisit the issue. A final ruling will likely come before the Court’s term ends in June.

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