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UPDATE: Same-Sex Marriage Cases in Ohio Draw Activists
CINCINNATI-- A group of federal judges heard six cases Wednesday inside a federal court in Cincinnati, that could decide the future for same-sex couples wishing to marry in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee.
Hundreds of same-sex marriage rights supporters rallied outside the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, and at Fountain Square just one black away.
"It's the love that marriage is, but also the 1,600 benefits marriage provides," said Beavercreek resident RJ McKay, who attended the Cincinnati rallies. He and his partner of 16 years Todd, have been waiting almost a decade to be able to legally marry in Ohio.
"We didn't want to go anywhere else we want to do it in Ohio," said Todd Figgins, inside the home the couple shares together.
"If I would have gotten in a car accident coming home from the rally today," RJ said, "If a hospital administrator or a government administrator were to look at us... the only thing we have in common is our address. So we're glorified roommates, or legal strangers."
The judges heard appeals from two homosexual couples who are fighting to be listed as surviving spouses on death certificates. Four couples are fighting to keep their names on official birth certificates.
"So this is the second step, the third step will be the Supreme Court so I'm sure either way it goes after today's hearings it will end up in the Supreme Court," RJ said.
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling could mean an overturn of the same sex marriage ban Ohio voters upheld in 2004.
RJ made a t-shirt that year while working with the organization Diversity Dayton, that has the U.S. 14th Amendment printed on the back. He wore it to the Cincinnati rally, to remind him of his decade long fight for the right to marry the man of his dreams.
"We're just watching history being made," said Todd.
"Everybody in every area of the country is looking at this and it is about love. And who is going to deny love," RD added.
Very few people turned out in opposition to the Cincinnati crowds Wednesday.
Supporters are speculating the court may have a decision by October.
This station held a same-sex marriage town hall meeting, for community members to voice their opinions on both sides of the issues. To watch it, click here.
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Hundreds of gay marriage supporters are rallying in downtown Cincinnati near the federal courthouse where judges will consider arguments about the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans in four states.
Advocates are holding up banners and signs urging "Freedom to Marry" or other messages in favor of legal challenges to bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.
The Fountain Square crowd included couples who married in states where same-sex marriages are legal and other longtime couples who say they are waiting for it to become legal in their home states.
There was little sign of public opposition near the courthouse; opponents say they planned to pray that the judges uphold "traditional marriage."
A Michigan man who married his male partner this year camped out overnight to secure a courtroom seat Wednesday.
Ohio Same-Sex Marriage Ban Faces Federal Judges
CINCINNATI (AP) -- A ban on same-sex marriage passed by Ohio voters a decade ago is on the line in arguments before federal appeals court judges in Cincinnati.
Two Ohio cases involving marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples are among six cases from four states scheduled Wednesday before a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
One involves two gay men whose spouses were dying. They sued to be listed as surviving spouses on their husbands' death certificates and for their spouses to be listed as having been married. In the other, four couples sued to have both spouses listed on children's birth certificates.
Attorney General Mike DeWine says voters decided in 2004 that marriage is between a man and a woman, and he'll continue to defend that decision.
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