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Marriage Ban Remains in Four States


6th Circuit Court of Appeals overturns lower court decisions that struck down marriage bans

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the district court rulings of six cases from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky. In each of these states, a federal judge had ruled in favor of marriage for same-sex couples and all six rulings were appealed to the Sixth Circuit. The recent ruling essentially upholds marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky and denies same-sex couples the right to marry or have their marriages recognized in these states.

“Judges Deborah Cook and Jeffrey Sutton have chosen to cement their feet on the wrong side of history,” said Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “They simply ignored the basic humanity of committed and loving gay and lesbian couples and their families.”

This is the first time since the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 that a court at this level has decided to uphold marriage discrimination.

“This decision is an outlier that’s incompatible with the 50 other rulings that uphold fairness for all families, as well as with the Supreme Court’s decision to let marriage equality rulings stand in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia,” said Chase Strangio, staff attorney in the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “It is shameful and wrong that John Arthur’s death certificate may have to be revised to list him as single and erase his husband’s name as his surviving spouse.”

Martha Craig Daughtrey, a third judge who heard the case issued a statement knocking down Cook and Sutton’s reasoning: If we in the judiciary do not have the authority, and indeed the responsibility, to right fundamental wrongs left excused by a majority of the electorate, […] the oaths to which we swore prove to be nothing but shams.

The recent decision is a big blow to the marriage equality movement across the nation. However, many LGBTQ organizations are already determined not to leave these four states behind. Organizations like the ACLU have already released a statement saying they “will be filing for Supreme Court review right away and hope that through this deeply disappointing ruling we will be able to bring a uniform rule of equality to the entire country.”


Tagg Magazine
Tagg Magazine
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