ACLU Reaction to 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Overturning Lower Court Decisions that had Struck Down Marriage Bans

November 06, 2014

NEW YORK – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today reversed the district court rulings of six cases from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky. In each of these states, a federal judge had ruled in favor of marriage for same-sex couples and all six rulings were appealed to the 6th Circuit.

Today’s ruling essentially upholds marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky and denies same sex couples the right to marry or have their marriages recognized in these states.

Kary L. Moss, ACLU of Michigan executive director, issued the following statement:

"At the heart of this case is the fundamental right of all couples to enjoy the benefits and protections that come with having a loving relationship recognized in the law. Today's decision goes against not only that principle, but also goes against the clear tide of history and other appellate courts. Michigan is waiting to join states like Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia where legally married gay and lesbian couples are not treated like second-class citizens by their own state. "

Chase Strangio, staff attorney in the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project, issued the following statement:

"This decision is an outlier that’s incompatible with the 50 other rulings that uphold fairness for all families, as well as with the Supreme Court’s decision to let marriage equality rulings stand in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Oklahoma, and Virginia. It is shameful and wrong that John Arthur’s death certificate may have to be revised to list him as single and erase his husband’s name as his surviving spouse. We believe it’s wholly unconstitutional to deny same sex couples and their families access to the rights and respect that all other families receive. We will be filing for Supreme Court review right away and hope that through this deeply disappointing ruling we will be able to bring a uniform rule of equality to the entire country."

Key News & Documents

ACLU of Michigan Issues: LGBT Rights