John M. Becker

All Eyes on Ohio: Marriage Equality Goes to Court

Filed By John M. Becker | August 06, 2014 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: appeals court, court cases, gay marriage, Kentucky, marriage equality, Michigan, Ohio, same-sex marriage, Tennessee

sixth-circuit-marriage-equality.jpgToday's the day, folks -- a momentous day for the push for marriage equality.

All eyes are on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, where oral arguments will take place in marriage equality cases from four states: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee).

Arguments at the Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern Time and are scheduled to last for three hours. Both sides in the Michigan and Ohio cases will receive 30 minutes for argument; fifteen minutes have been allocated to each side in the Kentucky and Tennessee cases.

They will be heard by a three-judge panel consisting of Judges Jeffrey Sutton and Deborah Cook, appointed by George W. Bush; and Martha Craig Daughtrey, a Clinton appointee. Ian Millheiser has a lengthy analysis of the GOP-dominated panel over at ThinkProgress, and in his estimation, marriage equality proponents are in for a rough time today.

But supporters of the freedom to marry are undaunted: led by the group Why Marriage Matters Ohio, they've been working overtime in the run-up to today's legal proceedings, holding an interfaith prayer service on Sunday and a rally last night to demonstrate that Ohio, and the country, is ready for marriage equality.

Several members of the LGBT press are on the ground in Cincinnati today and will be tweeting during the proceedings. They include Equality Case Files and friend of the site Kathleen Perrin, Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, Chris Geidner of BuzzFeed, and freelance reporter Steve Friess. (Click on their names to view their Twitter profiles.) You can also follow the hashtag #6thCircuit.

It's highly unlikely that we'll get a ruling from the bench today, but watch this space just in case.

Need a recap of the cases that'll be considered today? We've got that, via the National Center for Lesbian Rights, after the break.

Here are today's cases:

Bourke v. Beshear (KY), consolidated with Love v. Beshear (KY), the state of Kentucky is appealing district court orders declaring unconstitutional Kentucky's prohibition against recognizing valid out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples and its prohibition against marriage for same-sex couples in Kentucky.

DeBoer v. Snyder, (MI) The state of Michigan is appealing the decision issued on March 21st, where a federal judge struck down the marriage ban for same-sex couples in Michigan. The next day, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay in the decision while the case proceeds.

Henry v. Himes (OH), consolidated with Obergefell v. Himes (OH), the state of Ohio is appealing two decisions. In Obergefell, a federal court ruled that the state of Ohio must respect the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states for the purpose of listing surviving spouses on death certificates. In Henry, a federal court ordered the state to recognize out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples and issue accurate birth certificates for children born to or adopted by married same-sex couples.

Tanco v. Haslam (TN) The state of Tennessee is appealing a federal court ruling that ordered state officials to respect the out of state marriages of three same-sex couples. In April, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the request to stay as the case proceeds.

And here's a video recap from the Associated Press:

Image via Freedom to Marry.

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