Gay Marriage Victory Reversed on Appeal- updated

Gay Marriage Victory Reversed on Appeal

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Nov. 6, 2014)

Cases in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee that had been victories for same-sex couples seeking the right to marry, have been overturned by the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. In a 42 page decision released Thursday the court determined that bans on same-sex marriage did not violate the US Constitution, as the courts before then had ruled.

The 2-1 ruling creates a difference of opinion among Circuit courts across the country, so a Supreme Court hearing on the matter is likely.

The court focused on the role of regulation of procreation as the state’s guiding interest, with Republican-appointed Judge Jeffrey Sutton writing “What we are left with is this: By creating a status (marriage) and by subsidizing it (e.g., with tax-filing privileges and deductions), the States created an incentive for two people who procreate together to stay together for purposes of rearing offspring. That does not convict the States of irrationality, only of awareness of the biological reality that couples of the same sex do not have children in the same way as couples of opposite sexes and that couples of the same sex do not run the risk of unintended offspring. That explanation, still relevant today, suffices to allow the States to retain authority over an issue they have regulated from the beginning.”

Among the cases was DeBoer v. Snyder, in which a Hazel Park lesbian couple sued for the right to jointly adopt their children. The case was amended to include the right to marry, and in March as a result of the ruling over 300 couples across Michigan legally obtained marriage licenses in a one-day window before a stay was granted on the decision.

Attorney General Bill Schuette released a statement saying “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled, and Michigan’s constitution remains in full effect,” said Schuette. “As I have stated repeatedly, the U.S. Supreme Court will have the final word on this issue. The sooner they rule, the better, for Michigan and the country.”

Regina Calcagno, Coalition Manager of Michigan for Marriage stated “this decision flies in the face of more than 30 rulings since last summer that have found marriage bans across the country are unconstitutional.” The group is planning rallies across the state to show support for same sex couples.

This story will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

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