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Oral arguments set in appeal of Michigan, three other states same-sex marriage rulings

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
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Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press   (AP)Supporters and protesters chant before closing arguments in the trial of two Detroit-area nurses, Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, challenging Michigan's gay-marriage ban at the Theodore Levin Federal Court in Detroit Friday March 7, 2014.

Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press (AP)
Supporters and protesters chant before closing arguments in the trial of two Detroit-area nurses, Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, challenging Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban outside a federal court in Detroit on March 7, 2014. The ban was struck down on March 21, 2014.

DETROIT — Oral arguments have been scheduled by a federal appeals court in the appeals of same-sex marriage rulings in Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio.

The Cincinnati-based U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit said in a court filing Monday that it would hear arguments in the cases on August 6.

The filing notes, however, that the arguments could be canceled if the judges decide briefs and the court record are enough for a decision.

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In Michigan (DeBoer v. Snyder), more than 300 same-sex couples were married in March after a Detroit federal judge said Michigan’s 2004 voter-approved ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. The appeals court earlier suspended the decision while the appeal is pending.

In the Kentucky (Bourke v. Beshear) and Tennessee (Tanco v. Haslam) cases, federal judges ruled that those state’s must recognize legal same-sex marriages performed out-of-state, but the cases did not address whether same-sex couples in those states could marry.

In the Ohio cases — Obergefell v. Himes and Henry v. Himes — plaintiffs are seeking to have their same-sex marriages recognized on their spouse’s death certificate, and their children’s birth certificates, respectively.

Arguments were held in the 4th Circuit in Virginia in May and the 10th Circuit in Denver in April. Rulings are expected soon.

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