The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether states can ban gay marriage, delving into a contentious social issue in what will be one of the most anticipated rulings of the year.
The court, in a brief order on Friday, said it would hear cases concerning marriage restrictions in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee.
The ruling, due by the end of June, will determine whether 14 remaining state bans will be struck down.
According to the court, two questions; Whether states must allows same-sex couples to marry and whether states must recognize same-sex marriages that take place out-of-state be asked.
Supporters of gay rights have touted same-sex marriage as one of the leading American civil rights issues of this era.
Gay right groups quickly urged the justices to issue a nationwide ruling endorsing the legality of gay marriage.