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Gay Marriage Arguments To Begin In Cincinnati Appeals Court

Ohio gay same-sex marriage equality
Al Behrman

Advocates on both sides of the issue are planning to turn out to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati as oral arguments begin Wednesday afternoon in same-sex marriage cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. Capacity crowds are expected at the Potter Stewart courtroom in Cincinnati where two overflow rooms for spectators have been set-up.

Groups that favor gay marriage are planning rallies outside the courthouse, and gay marriage opponents say they’re also gathering forces. 

“So, right now because of this threat, we’re calling to people to pray," said Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values in Cincinnati. "We asked all the churches in all four states to pray for the justices and that the right decision will be made.”

Thirty-one states have had gay-marriage bans in place—enacted through both constitutional amendments and state law—but numerous states have seen bans overturned recently by court rulings. Many gay marriage opponents say the issue should be decided by voters.

Nineteen states have legalized same-sex marriage through court decision, legislative efforts or popular vote.

The federal court in Cincinnati will hear six cases from four states.  Arguments will focus on the rights of same-sex couples to adopt children, have their names placed on a partner's death certificate, and have their legal marriages performed in states with legal same-sex marriage recognized in their home states.