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Same-sex arguments heard from four states

CINCINNATI (Jeff Hirsh) -- It's the single-largest legal event in the same-sex marriage debate since June 2013 when the U.S. Supreme Court declared part of the federal defense of marriage act unconstitutional.
   
Since then, every major federal and state court ruling nationwide went in favor of same-sex marriage proponents.  Will the tri-state follow?  In the past year, there have been 19 court decisions all in favor of same sex marriage.  The 6th circuit court of appeals heard cases from four states, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee
   
The states are trying to preserve voter approved gay marriage bans.  The Ohio and Tennessee cases involve recognition of same sex marriages from other states.  The Michigan and Kentucky cases involve lower courts throwing out gay marriage bans completely.
   
One of the Kentucky plaintiffs, Luke Barlowe, has been with his partner for more than 40 years and said, "We stayed in the closet for a long time because things were different.  We got involved with this because this is an important issue in this country."

There is a three judge panel.  Democratic appointee appeared to favor same sex marriage.  A George W. Bush appointee wondered if it would be better for the gay community to win the hearts and minds of the voters rather than pursuing victories through the courts.  Another Bush appointee said little.
   
Whatever happens the Supreme Court will likely have final say.  Wednesday's hearings drew such large crowds of journalists and spectators to the Potter Stewart U.S. courthouse the clerk set up two overflow courtrooms equipped with piped-in audio of the proceedings.
   
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