The US Attorney General Eric Holder has confirmed that his office will urge the Supreme Court to rule in favour of marriage equality, when it hears a same-sex marriage case shortly.

The country’s top court announced yesterday that it would review a ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld same-sex marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

The Justices will rule on the question: “Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?” – and a ruling in favour could lead to equal marriage in all 50 states by the end of the year.

President Obama’s top law official, Attorney General Eric Holder, has confirmed he will side with equality, and ask the court to strike down laws banning same-sex couples from marrying.

Mr Holder said: “The Supreme Court has announced that it will soon hear several cases raising core questions concerning the constitutionality of same-sex marriages.

“As these cases proceed, the Department of Justice will remain committed to ensuring that the benefits of marriage are available as broadly as possible. And we will keep striving to secure equal treatment for all members of society—regardless of sexual orientation

“As such, we expect to file a ‘friend of the court’ brief in these cases that will urge the Supreme Court to make marriage equality a reality for all Americans.

“It is time for our nation to take another critical step forward to ensure the fundamental equality of all Americans—no matter who they are, where they come from, or whom they love.”

Mr Holder is currently waiting to step down, while his replacement Loretta Lynch goes through the congressional confirmation process.