Court upholds same-sex marriage bans in 4 states; issue likely heading to Supreme Court
CINCINNATI — The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld bans on same-sex marriage in four states Thursday, breaking a recent trend of federal appeals courts finding in favor of same-sex marriage.
The decision makes same-sex marriage illegal in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.
CNN reports that justices with the court said that, while same-sex marriage in the United States is almost inevitable, it should be decided by voters and not the courts.
The decision makes the 6th Circuit Court the first to uphold state bans on same-sex marriage since last year, which is when the Supreme Court of the United States struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The Supreme Court had previously declined to hear appeals challenging lower courts’ decisions to recognize same-sex marriages (including Utah’s appeal), but it is likely the Supreme Court will hear a case now that there is a split among appeals courts.
Marty Carpenter, a spokesman for Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, said the 6th Circuit Court’s decision will not inspire further legal efforts from the state on the issue.
“We have exhausted all our legal options on Kitchen v. Herbert,” Carpenter said, referencing the case that resulted in Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage being struck down by a federal court.
“We have directed state agencies to uphold the law and administer those benefits to couples who are married under Utah law,” Carpenter said.