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6th Circuit Will Hear Michigan, Four Other Same-Sex Marriage Cases at Once

A civil liberties lawyer calls the move by the 6th Circuit – the first appeals court to hear several cases as once as gay marriage rulings make their way through the courts – "significant" and "very exciting."

The panel of three 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges will hear arguments on five same-sex marriage appeals in four states, including Michigan, on Aug. 6.
The panel of three 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges will hear arguments on five same-sex marriage appeals in four states, including Michigan, on Aug. 6.

Arguments in appeals in five gay marriage cases in four states, including Michigan, will be heard in a single session on Aug. 6, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said.

Al Gerhardstein, a Cincinnati civil rights attorney who represents plaintiffs in two Ohio cases, told The Akron Legal News the Cincinnati-based appeals court’s approach is “significant”.

The cases – one each in Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, and two in Ohio – are different, but each deals with the constitutionality of statewide bans on same-sex marriage.

"They see the need to do some basic rulings on core principles cutting across all these state lines,” Gerhardstein said. “It's very exciting."

The Michigan case is an appeal of U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman’s ruling striking down a 10-year voter-backed ban on same-sex marriage as a violation of the due-process clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette asked for and received an emergency stay less than 24 hours after Friedeman handed down his ruling, and that stay was extended until the 6th Circuit could hear the case.

The Akron Legal News said it’s unclear whether the the panel of three judges hearing the cases will issue one ruling encompassing all or five separate rulings

Same-sex marriage cases have been appealed in other areas – the 4th Circuit in Virginia heard a case in May and the 10th Circuit is expected to rule soon on two cases heard in April – but the 6th Circuit is the first federal appeals court to consider so many cases at one time.
Sue Czarnecki June 23, 2014 at 12:57 PM
Finally - let's undo the Engler-backed discrimination.
Jay Charles June 27, 2014 at 04:23 PM
While Engler backed the anti-gay marriage amendment to the Michigan Constitution, the idea was actually developed by Karl Rove as a means of getting conservatives who were somewhat disenchanted with George W. Bush out to vote ensuring a re-election victory for him in 2004.
Jay Charles June 27, 2014 at 04:25 PM
The 10th Circuit just upheld the District Court's ruling that Utah's anti-gay marriage law was unconstitutional. I expect the same ruling from the 6th Circuit.

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