The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, located in downtown Cincinnati, will hear oral arguments Wednesday in same-sex marriage cases in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan.
1.) The court will hear six cases in total – the most of any federal appeals court so far.
2.) Three federal judges will hear 30 to 15 minutes of arguments in each side of the six cases. Two of the judges were appointed by President George W. Bush, the other by President Clinton.
3.) In each of the four states, a federal judge has already ruled in favor of marriage for same-sex couples, but all of those rulings were appealed and sent to be heard in the 6th Circuit. Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee's rulings dealt with recognition of marriages performed outside the states. Michigan's concerned same-sex marriages in the state.
4.) If rulings at state-level continue to favor gay marriage, the Supreme Court is predicted to go the same way if they chose to hear a gay-marriage case. However, the Supreme Court is under no obligation to hear any of the cases on appeal.
5.) There have been 19 federal rulings in favor of same-sex marriage laws since the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act last summer.
Here is how the state cases break down:
Ohio: A judge ruled in April of this year that Ohio must recognize all marriages of same-sex couples performed out of the state. In December 2013, a court ordered the state to recognize a same-sex marriage, which was performed in Maryland, on an Ohio man's death certificate. These cases will be consolidated and argued Wednesday before the 6th Circuit. (Henry v. Himes)
Kentucky: A judge ruled in February that Kentucky cannot refuse to recognize valid same-sex marriages that were performed in other states. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear appealed and the decision was put on hold pending the ruling in the 6th Circuit. (Bourke v. Beshear)
Michigan: A judge ruled in March that same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry in the state. 24 hours later, an appeals court granted a stay in the decision. (DeBoer v. Snyder)
Tennessee: A judge ruled in March that the state cannot refuse to recognize valid same-sex marriages that were performed in other states. The decision was appealed to the 6th Circuit. (Tanco v. Haslam)
Follow FOX19 NOW on Wednesday for full coverage of the hearings plus reaction outside the courtroom.
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