Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard arguments on six court cases challenging four states’ bans on marriage equality. Over the last year, federal judges in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee have ruled that these states’ laws and constitutional amendments that exclude same-sex couples from marriage violate the U.S. Constitution. The hearings began at 1:00pm ET in front of a three-judge panel.
In preparation for the hearings, last night Why Marriage Matters Ohio held the largest marriage equality rally in the history of the state. Nearly 1,000 participants gathered in Lytle Park in downtown Cincinnati to show their support for same-sex marriage. Participants were present from all four states with cases to be heard on Wednesday. Headlining the event was former Ohio governor, Ted Strickland. Also speaking were clergy from multiple denominations and all of the plaintiff couples.
HRC is a founding partner of Why Marriage Matters Ohio and was a co-sponsor of the marriage equality rally. Since early 2013, HRC and our partners at ACLU, Freedom to Marry and Equality Ohio have been working on educating Ohioans about the real harms and challenges presented to same-sex couples whose legal marriages aren't recognized in the Buckeye State. With over a dozen staff on the ground across Ohio, and thousands of postcards of support collected already, Why Marriage Matters is doing the hard work of changing hearts and minds in Ohio around the issue of marriage equality. And until all couples are equal in the state, that work will continue.