Sixth Circuit Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Bans in Four States

On November 6, 2014, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld same-sex marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky, becoming the first federal circuit court to do so since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor decision in June 2013. DeBoer v. Snyder (6th Cir. 2014).

While acknowledging that same-sex marriage is almost inevitable, the Sixth Circuit said that the issue should be decided through the democratic process and not by the courts.

This decision creates a split among the federal circuit courts on this issue. The Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuit have all struck down state same-sex marriage bans in cases before them. In October, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review any of the four decisions from these circuits because there was no disagreement or split in the circuits to be resolved. This case creates that split and may cause the Supreme Court to grant review.

The DeBoer case has been appealed to the Supreme Court. We will keep you updated on any developments.