Metro Weekly

Ohio agrees Supreme Court should hear same-sex marriage case

U.S. Supreme Court - Credit: Davis Staedtler/flickr

U.S. Supreme Court – Credit: Davis Staedtler/flickr

The state of Ohio urged the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a case challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in a brief filed Friday.

Attorneys for Ohio concurred with plaintiffs in the case, stating that the Supreme Court should address whether the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution encompasses a right to same-sex marriage. The state, however, disagreed with the plaintiffs and urged the Supreme Court to “deny review over whether the Full Faith and Credit Clause requires a State to maintain its state birth records in any particular manner.”

“The present status quo is unsustainable. If, as Ohio believes, the Sixth Circuit correctly interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment, the status quo is unfair to the many States (and the citizens of those States) who would, but for a federal order mandating the opposite, continue to resolve the delicate policy question in favor of traditional marriage,” the filing states. “If, as Petitioners believe, the Sixth Circuit was mistaken, the present status quo is un- fair to gays and lesbians living in the States making up that circuit and the other circuits that still permit States to retain marriage’s traditional definition… The country deserves a nationwide answer to the question—one way or the other.”

In a 2-1 decision handed down Nov. 6, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld same-sex marriages bans in four states — Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee — breaking with other federal appeals courts that have considered the issue. The Supreme Court has been asked to consider all four state marriage bans by plaintiffs in the four cases. Of the 6th Circuit cases, Ohio joins Kentucky and Michigan in agreeing that the Supreme Court should hear cases challenging those states’ respective same-sex marriage bans.

Plaintiffs in a case challenging Lousiana’s same-sex marriage ban have also asked the Supreme Court to hear their case before a federal appeals court has rendered judgment. The state of Louisiana has agreed the high court should hear the case.

“For its part,” Ohio’s attorneys wrote, “Ohio asks the Court to answer the legal question in favor of a dynamic view that permits the democratic debate over proper policy to continue now and going forward, rather than a wooden view that takes that policy question out of the hands of this generation and all future generations.” 

Ohio Same-Sex Marriage Response

Justin Snow is Metro Weekly's former political editor and White House correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @JustinCSnow.

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