High court to hear gay marriage cases in April

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Supreme Court says it will decide whether same-sex couples nationwide have a right to marry under the Constitution.

The justices said Friday they will review an appellate ruling that upheld bans on same-sex unions in four states.

The case will be argued in April and a decision is expected by late June.

Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee are among the 14 states where gay and lesbian couples are not allowed to marry.

The number of states that permit same-sex marriage has nearly doubled in three months as a result of federal and state court rulings. The justices’ decision to turn away same-sex marriage appeals in October allowed some of those rulings to take effect. Florida last week became the 36th state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

By MARK SHERMAN

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