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Sixth Circuit Appeals Court Upholds Gay Marriage Restrictions in Four States

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A federal appeals court in Cincinnati has upheld anti-gay marriage laws in four states, breaking ranks with lower courts that have considered the issue.

  In early August, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel heard arguments on gay marriage bans or restrictions in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. In the ruling announced Thursday, the court split two to one on the decision with Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton writing the majority opinion.

Michael Premo, campaign manager with Why Marriage Matters Ohio, said they were disappointed with the decision adding,  "it’s especially crushing for the couples, the plaintiff couples who stepped forward to fight for the legal recognition their families deserve." Premo believes it’s not a matter of if gay marriage comes to Ohio but when.

Traditional marriage proponents, however, hailed the decision.  

Brian Brown, President of The National Organization for Marriage issued a statement following the ruling: "We have been awaiting this decision for some time and welcome it not only as a tremendous victory, but as a common sense recognition that it is not for the federal courts to substitute their judgment about whether same-sex ‘marriage’ is a good idea or not, but to leave it to the people to make the decision about this fundamental institution."

The circuit court's decision makes it likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue and possibly rule in June of 2015.