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article imageU.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals mulling gay marriage ban

By Calvin Wolf     Aug 11, 2014 in Politics
The U.S. 6th Court of Appeals is deciding gay marriage bans on the books in four states. The three-judge panel has the chance to overturn the bans and likely send the case on to the Supreme court in 2015, and history suggests they will do so.
If a majority of state voters decides to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman, is that an acceptable instance of democracy or a violation of human rights? Political conservatives and opponents of same-sex marriage are supporting public referendums that have banned same-sex marriage, calling these referendums democracy in action and the pinnacle of voters' rights. Political liberals and supporters of same-sex marriage are opposed to the recognition of these referendums, which allegedly subjugate the rights of the minority under the heel of the voting majority.
Now the U.S. 6th Court of Appeals is weighing in, reports ABC News, and its decision could have a powerful impact. Same-sex couples are suing to be allowed to wed, and the states of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee are resisting, arguing that their respective voters have exercised their right to define marriage as they wish. A three-judge panel will render a decision, for which there is currently no timetable.
The defendants are taking a firm voters' rights and democratic process stance, arguing that federal courts should not overturn the laws in violation of state voters' demands. The complainants are insisting that the democratic process moves too slowly and is woefully behind the times. On the whole, the end result is likely to favor the complainants due to the defendants using a legal defense that was unsuccessful in the 1950s and 1960s, during the original Civil Rights Movement.
States attempted to limit racial integration by arguing voters' rights as well, insisting that state voters preferred segregation and would actively resist attempts of federal courts to change their way of life. In the end, the federal courts clearly won the battle, with even the most pro-segregation southern states evolving to speak in wholehearted favor of racial equality today. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unequivocally that human rights and civil rights could not be trumped by a majority vote.
More about Gay rights, Gay marriage, Human Rights, US Constitution, Civil Rights
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