In a decision that could set the legal precedent for the federal government to redefine marriage as being between a man and a woman, the Supreme Law Court on Monday declined to take up a challenge to a key federal law that bans same-day marriage nationwide.
The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, did not consider the case brought by a conservative Christian group to overturn a state ban that requires marriage to be performed at a courthouse within a certain radius of a religious institution.
The decision, the first of its kind, comes as the Obama administration is pushing states to ban same-night marriages as part of a sweeping effort to ease a long-standing nationwide marriage crisis.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits same-gender couples from legally marrying.
The Obama administration has also asked federal judges to declare state bans unconstitutional, arguing that they do not advance religious values and violate federal law.
In its decision, a three-judge panel of the U.K. Supreme Judicial Court, the highest court in England, upheld a lower court’s ruling to allow a gay couple to wed in the country’s highest court, saying the law did not discriminate against gays and lesbians.But the U