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Landmark same-sex marriage cases argued
CINCINNATI (Angenette Levy) -- Same-sex couples gathered Wednesday as the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in several cases involving gay marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky.
In Ohio, several Ohio same-sex couples married in states where gay marriage is legal sued in federal court to have their marriages recognized. Some asked that both parents' names be listed on their child's birth certificates. Federal Judge Timothy Black granted the request and the state of Ohio appealed.
"We just want to be treated as a family because we are a family. We both take care of him," said plaintiff Brittani Henry-Rogers of her son Jayseon. Her wife, Brittni Rogers added, "We want him to grow up knowing he has two parents and his name will possibly go in history books."
Attorney Al Gerhardstein argued the cases that sought to have the marriages performed in other states recognized.
"These kids are discriminated against and hurt a great deal by this policy and that's wrong. It's wrong as a fundamental law matter, it's wrong as a matter of equal protection and we think the Supreme Court will ultimately say that," Gerhardstein said.
Jim Obergefell and John Arthur were married in Maryland last year. Arthur died and wanted Obergefell listed as his surviving spouse on his death certificate. Judge Black also granted that request.
"I can't imagine how that would help the state to say no, Jim sorry. Your marriage no longer exists," Obergefell said.
Before oral arguments started Wednesday afternoon, same-sex marriage supporters held a rally on Fountain Square. While supporters of the ban said they were hopeful the judges ruled in their favor.
"We are encouraging people throughout the four-state area, throughout the 6th Circuit to pray. Encouraging actually at this point over 10,000 churches to pray and pray for wisdom for the judges," said Charles Tassell of Citizens for Community Values.
Ruby Noe-McCracken's mothers are hopeful their names will remain on their daughters' birth certificate and that other couples will one day benefit from their fight.
"We're going to look back at this and think what in the world were people thinking. You know, just like the civil rights movements and women's rights to vote," Kelly Noe-McCracken said.
Attorneys for the Ohio Attorney General's Office declined to comment on camera but argued in favor of the ban in court. A ruling is expected in a month or two.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act last year, there have been 19 court rulings in favor of same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
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