3c241b2b94aa5e026b0f6a706700d46fSetting the stage for a potentially historic ruling, the Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide whether same-sex couples have a right to marry everywhere in America under the Constitution. The justices will take up gay-rights cases that ask them to overturn bans in four states and declare for the entire nation that people can marry the partners of their choice, regardless of gender. The cases will be argued in April, and a decision is expected by late June. ¬†Proponents of same-sex marriage said they expect the court to settle the matter once and for all with a decision that invalidates state provisions that define marriage as between a man and a woman. “We are now that much closer to being fully recognized as a family, and we are thrilled,” said April DeBoer, a hospital nurse from Hazel Park, Michigan, after the justices said they would hear an appeal from DeBoer and partner Jayne Rowse. “This opportunity for our case to be heard by the Supreme Court gives us and families like ours so much reason to be hopeful.” More