Ohio Families to Petition Supreme Court for Review of Discriminatory Sixth Circuit Ruling

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November 7, 2014
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Susan Sommer, Director of Constitutional Litigation

Yesterday, over a strenuous dissent, two Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals judges upheld discriminatory bans on marriage rights for same-sex couples in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, becoming the first federal circuit court after the Supreme Court’s watershed 2013 Windsor ruling to uphold such bans and departing from recent decisions from the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th Circuits.

In response, Susan Sommer, Director of Constitutional Litigation for Lambda Legal, released the following statement:

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling upholding discriminatory marriage bans across four states has placed thousands of families back in harm’s way. We will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review this aberrant ruling as soon as possible. These couples, their children, and the whole nation need a final—and better—resolution to this matter of critical importance to so many American families. The Sixth Circuit’s decision dramatically departs from the path of justice that other circuits have followed. These families deserve better than to be told that their marriages, entered into with love and commitment, do not exist in the eyes of these states and are unworthy of the protections that come with marriage. We will not stop our work to change this.

Yesterday’s  decision applies to six lawsuits from all four states; Lambda Legal joined the case Henry v. Himes, filed by Gerhardstein & Branch, a federal lawsuit seeking to compel the State of Ohio to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples and issue accurate birth certificates listing both parents for the Ohio-born children of married same-sex couples.