Same-sex marriages (SSM) & civil unions in Ohio.
Part 8: 2014-NOV to now: Reactions to the
ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
Ohio, as well as Kentucky, Michigan
The acronym "LGBT" used throughout this web site refers
to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community.
The acronym "SSM" refers to same-sex marriage.
2014-NOV-07: District Court judge in West Virginia commented on the 6th Circuit Court's ruling:
Chief Judge Robert C. Chambers of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Huntington Division issued a ruling in the lawsuit McGee et al. v. Cole et al. 1 That document formally nullified West Virginia's constitutional ban of marriages by same-sex couples.
Judge Chamber's ruling contained an interesting footnote starting at the bottom of Page 16 and continued at the bottom of Page 17. He commented on the NOV-06 decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in DeBoer v. Snyder. The DeBoer ruling concluded that bans on marriages by same-sex couples should not be challenged in the courts, but should be left to public opinion or legislative processes to eventually cause a repeal of the bans. That, of course, could easily take two decades in some conservative states. His footnote reads:
"The Sixth Circuit in DeBoer v. Snyder, ... reached the opposite result. The majority there noted two rationales in support of the marriage bans. ... First, the court found the marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee to be rooted in the States’ interest in regulating procreation by providing incentives for parents to remain together. ... But the opinion then conceded that this view of marriage can no longer be sustained, that marriage now serves 'another value -- to solemnize relationships characterized by love, affection, and commitment.' ... Denying marital status and its benefits to a couple that cannot procreate does nothing to further the original interest of regulating procreation and irrationally excludes the couple from the latter purpose of marriage. Second, the majority in DeBoer implores opponents of the marriage bans to proceed slowly, through the legislative process, and justifies the bans by asserting the States’ right to take a “wait and see” approach. ... This approach, however, fails to recognize the role of courts in the democratic process. It is the duty of the judiciary to examine government action through the lens of the Constitution’s protection of individual freedom. Courts cannot avoid or deny this duty just because it arises during the contentious public debate that often accompanies the evolution of policy making throughout the states. Judges may not simultaneously find a right violated yet defer to an uncertain future remedy voluntarily undertaken by the violators."
2014-NOV: Other reactions to the 6th Circuit Court ruling:
They were mostly positive. People on both sides anticipate an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court who might issue a ruling that affects more than the four states involved in DeBoer v. Snyder and might either permit or forbid same-sex marriage across the entire country.
The Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal defense group that specializes in lawsuits dealing with religious freedom -- including defending conservative Christians who seek the religious freedom to discriminate against the LGBT community. Byron Babione, a senior counsel, claims that the 6th Circuit Court's decision was consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Windsor vs. United States. He said:
"While Windsor struck down a crucial component of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, it left open the issue of state-level bans on gay marriage.
The people of every state should remain free to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman in their laws.
The 6th Circuit's decision is consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court's acknowledgement in Windsor that marriage law is the business of the states." 6
The next step?
Lyle Denniston in SCOTUSblog -- a web site that monitors activity of the U.S. Supreme Court -- wrote that the decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is:
"... precisely the kind of division of judgment that ordinarily will lead the Supreme Court to step in to resolve the split, especially on an issue of fundamental constitutional significance." 6
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Ruling in McGee et al. v. Cole et al., U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Huntington Division, 2014-NOV-07, at: http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/
- Erik Eckholm, "Court Upholds Marriage Bans in Four States," New York Times, 2014-NOV-06, at: http://www.nytimes.com/
- "DeBoer v. Snyder. What's Happening," Freedom to Marry, 2014-NOV, at: http://www.freedomtomarry.org/
- David Crary, "Joy, dismay as gay marriage advocates, opponents assess 6th Circuit ruling," LGBTQNATION, 2014-NOV-07, at: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/
- David Demirbilek, "Southern Poverty Law Center repeats 'hate group' claim about Family Research Council," Daily Caller, 2012-SEP-13, at: http://dailycaller.com/
- Michael Gryboski, "Sixth Circuit Decision to Uphold Gay Marriage Ban Part of Trend in Favor of Traditional Marriage, Conservatives Say," Christian Post, 2014-NOV-07, at: http://www.christianpost.com/
- David Crary, "Joy, Dismay as 2 Sides Assess Gay-Marriage Ruling," 2014-NOV-07, at: http://abcnews.go.com/
Copyright © by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Initially posted: 2014-NOV-10
Latest update: 2014-NOV-20
Author: B.A. Robinson