A same-sex couple from Michigan is putting the question of the right to marry nationwide squarely before the Supreme Court.
The couple's plea to be allowed to marry was being filed Monday. It asks the justices to hold that state laws prohibiting same-sex couples from getting married violate "our nation's most cherished and essential guarantees."
The appeal from Detroit-area hospital nurses April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse calls on the court to overturn an appeals court ruling that upheld anti-gay marriage laws in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.
Michigan officials have said they would not oppose Supreme Court review, but would vigorously defend a provision of the state constitution that prohibits same-sex marriage.
The justices also will consider appeals from gay and lesbian plaintiffs in the other three states.
The Kentucky case also involves the right of sex-same couples to marry, but Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has declined to defend the state ban and Gov. Steve Beshear has hired private attorneys to represent the state. The Ohio appeal focuses on the state's refusal to recognize out-of-state gay marriages because of its own ban, while the Tennessee case is narrowly focused on the rights of three same-sex couples.