Wed, 18 Jun 2014 07:27:14 GMT — A federal appeals court has scheduled oral arguments in gay marriage fights in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. Though each case is unique, they all deal with whether statewide gay marriage bans violate the Constitution. The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments August 6 on whether to uphold gay marriage victories in the four states it oversees. The 6th Circuit is the third federal appeals court to weigh challenges to state gay marriage bans. Arguments were held in the 4th Circuit in Virginia in May and the 10th Circuit in Denver in April. Rulings are expected soon. More than a dozen federal and state judges have struck down part or all of state-level bans in recent months. No rulings have gone the other way. Former high-ranking Republicans in the Michigan Legislature are urging a federal appeals court to allow gay marriage in the state. They filed a brief Monday at the Cincinnati-based court, urging it to affirm a March decision that threw out Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage. The Republicans include former House Speaker Rick Johnson and former House Majority Leader Chris Ward. Former U.S. Rep. John "Joe" Schwartz has signed on, along with former state lawmakers Leon Drolet, Doug Hart, Dave Honigman and Susan Grimes Gilbert. They say denying marriage to same-sex couples runs counter to strengthening families. They say it's a conservative position to take.
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