by Mike Andrew -
SGN Staff Writer
A three-judge panel of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hold a six-case mega-hearing on August 6.
Appellate Judges Martha Craig Daughtrey, Jeffrey S. Sutton, and Deborah L. Cook will hear challenges to laws banning same-sex marriage in two Kentucky cases, two Ohio cases, and one case each from Michigan and Tennessee.
Daughtrey was appointed by President Clinton, and Sutton and Cook by George W. Bush.
According to the Williams Institute, 'approximately 18,300 children of same-sex couples, and nearly 52,400 same-sex couples, could be impacted by the outcome of the August 6 oral arguments in the five marriage cases before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.'
Several national LGBT rights organization are involved in the cases. The National Center for Lesbian Rights is representing plaintiffs in Tennessee, the ACLU is co-counsel in a case representing plaintiffs in Ohio, and Lambda Legal is also representing plaintiffs in Ohio.
Since the Supreme Court's June 2013 decision striking down DOMA, there have been 34 rulings in favor of the right of Gay and Lesbian couples to marry, covering 31 cases from 26 different federal and state courts.
The marriage laws of 21 states have been invalidated, including Utah, Ohio, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The Tenth and Fourth Circuits heard oral arguments earlier this year. The Tenth Circuit issued rulings on June 25 and July 17, in cases from Utah and Oklahoma. The Fourth Circuit issued a ruling on July 28 in a case from Virginia.
All three decisions held that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry, and laws prohibiting such marriages violate the equal protection and due process clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Williams Institute, which filed amicus briefs with the Sixth Circuit, also released demographic information indicating how many people would be impacted by the Sixth Circuit's decision.
Of the states involved in the August 6 hearing, Ohio has the largest number of same-sex couples - approximately 19,684 of them - of which 54% are Lesbians. About 6,800 children are being raised by Gay and Lesbian couples in Ohio.
Another 14,598 same-sex couples live in Michigan - 57% of them Lesbian - raising 5,300 children.
There are about 10,898 same-sex couples in Tennessee - 54% Lesbian - with some 3,936 children.
Approximately 7,195 same-sex couples live in Kentucky - 55% of them Lesbian - with 2,270 children.
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