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Federal appeals court hears oral arguments for six cases challenging state bans on same-sex marriage

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] heard oral arguments [oral argument calendar, PDF] on Wednesday for six lawsuits challenging same-sex marriage bans [oral arguments, soundcloud] in four states. The panel heard arguments on Kentucky's ban in the consolidated cases of Bourke v. Beshear and Love v. Beshear; Michigan's ban in DeBoer v. Snyder [JURIST reports]; Ohio's ban in the consolidated cases of Obergefell v. Wymyslo [opinion, PDF] and Henry v. Wymyslo; and Tennessee's ban in Tanco v. Haslam [JURIST reports]. In each case the state's ban on the recognition of same-sex marriage was ruled unconstitutional. A verdict from the Sixth Circuit is anticipated this fall.

Since the Supreme Court [official website] struck down [JURIST report] section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act [text] last year, many federal courts have declared state same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. In July the US District Court for the District of Colorado struck down Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage [JURIST report] as unconstitutional, but he immediately stayed his ruling pending an appeal to a higher court. That same month the US Supreme Court issued a stay [JURIST report] on the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in Utah, pending final disposition of the appeal by the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website]. Also in July the Tenth Circuit upheld [JURIST report] a ruling striking down Oklahoma's same-sex marriage ban. There are currently 77 lawsuits being litigated in 32 states on the status of the states' same-sex marriage bans.

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