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Federal Appeals Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Ban

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By a 2-to-1 vote, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld the right of

states to ban same-s-x marriage, overturning lower-court decisions in

Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that had found such restrictions to

be unconstitutional.

The long-awaited decision, written by Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, an

appointee of President George W. Bush, was the first by an appeals court to

uphold a ban on same-s-x marriage, contradicting rulings by four other

federal circuit courts. The ruling appeared almost certain to force the

Supreme Court to decide the same-s-x marriage issue for the nation.

“This is the circuit split that will almost surely produce a decision from

the Supreme Court, and sooner rather than later,†said Dale Carpenter, a

professor of constitutional law at the University of Minnesota. “It’s entirely

possible that we could have oral arguments in coming months and a

Supreme Court decision by next summer.â€

In the decision, by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the

Sixth Circuit, Judge Sutton said that it appears almost inevitable that

American law will allow gay couples to marry, but the more fundamental

question, he wrote, is “Who decides?â€

Judge Sutton said that such a profound change in the institution of

marriage should be decided not by “an intermediate court†like his, but by

“the less expedient, but usually reliable, work of the state democratic

processes.†He dismissed the reasoning issued in the last year by several

other federal courts, which have ruled that barring same-s-x marriage

violated equal protection or due process clauses of the Constitution and have

no rational basis.

Michael C. Dorf, a constitutional expert at Cornell Law School, said that

“the essence of this opinion is that the issue should be left to the democratic

process or to the Supreme Court, but I’m not going to do this as an appeals

court judge.â€

In a stinging dissent, Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey, an appointee of

President Bill Clinton, called the majority opinion “a largely irrelevant

discourse on democracy and federalism†that treated the couples involved as

“mere abstractions†rather than real people suffering harm because they

were denied equal status.

Gay rights groups and lawyers for the plaintiffs in the four affected

states criticized the ruling.

“We’re extremely disappointed for the families in these four states, but

this decision highlights the need for the U.S. Supreme Court to right this

injustice,†said Susan Sommer, the director of constitutional litigation for

Lambda Legal, which helped argue one of the six cases involved in

Thursday’s decision.

The Sixth Circuit decision was not a complete surprise; Judge Sutton

had expressed similar concerns about federalism and reliance on the

democratic process at the hearing on the cases in August. He was joined in

the opinion by Judge Deborah L. Cook, another Bush appointee.

Since then, the Supreme Court, by declining to hear appeals, has

allowed rulings in favor of same-s-x marriage from four other circuit courts

to take effect. The number of states with same-s-x marriage increased last

month to 32, plus the District of Columbia, with shifts in three more states

within those circuits all but certain.

In declining to hear the appeals in October, justices did not rule on the

merits of the cases. But by acquiescing in the court-mandated spread of

same-s-x marriage to many states, justices effectively created a new social

reality, making it extremely unlikely, many legal experts say, that the court

would find such bans constitutional.

“If the court reversed those decisions, it would create chaos,†Mr. Dorf

said. “It would seem highly unlikely, but technically they can do it.â€

Evan Wolfson, president of the group Freedom to Marry, said: “Today’s

ruling is completely out of step with the Supreme Court’s clear signal last

month, out of step with the constitutional command as recognized by nearly

every state and federal court in the past year, and out of step with the

majority of the American people.†He called on the Supreme Court to take

up the issue quickly and provide national resolution.

But conservative opponents of same-s-x marriage, who see states-rights

arguments as their last best hope in the courts, praised Thursday’s decision.

“The people of every state should remain free to affirm marriage as the

union of a man and a woman in their laws,†said Byron Babione, senior

counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group that has

argued several same-s-x marriage case. “As the Sixth Circuit rightly

concluded, the Constitution does not demand that one irreversible view of

marriage be judicially imposed on everyone.â€

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/07/us/appeals-court-upholds-same-s-x-marriage-ban.html?ref=us


The Supreme Court pretty much has to rule on marriage equality now, as a split in the circuit courts means the Supreme Court must decide for the entire country.


Four other circuit courts have all overturned these bans, making this the first such one to uphold them.


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wulp that was unexpected.

Not really. it's been long expected that the Sixth Circuit would rule in that way, as it happens to be the most conservative of the circuit courts.


It's just now it's happened. But I'm actually glad, cause now the Supreme Court will have to take a marriage equality case and decide once and for all, which can only be a good thing since it's very unlikely they will uphold same-s-x marriage bans now that they've allowed so many same-s-x couples to get married as a result of their refusal to hear previous cases.


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Lina Morgana

Wait, If Same-Sex marriage becomes legal in the US does Puerto Rico count or...?

" I can't sing, I can't dance, I can't write... no real talent. But I'm pretty, and I can make money off pretty."


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Wait, If Same-Sex marriage becomes legal in the US does Puerto Rico count or...?

I would say yes, as it is a U.S. territory so the laws in the U.S. would apply to its territories. I'm not entirely sure though, I could be wrong.


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Ugh those poor states. But in those states,they're definitely the states that are not for gay rights,so it's not a surprise.

These are the dreams of an impossible princess.


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