Federal Appeals Court Upholds Traditional Marriage Laws in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee
In a reversal of the trend occurring over the last 18 months with numerous Federal courts, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld "traditional" marriage laws in those states.
The U.S. is divided into numerous regions, or circuits. Each circuit has it's own Court of Appeals, kind of a "regional" Supreme Court. If people don't like decisions there, they then often take them to the Supreme Court. We live in the 9th Circuit, which covers 9 Western states and other areas.
The 6th Circuit applies to Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Those states have laws, passed by voters, defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. As legal challenges were made to these laws, it climbed the ladder, until it landed in the 6th Circuit.
The Family Policy Institute of Washington, a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage group, says the court responded by saying it was "inappropriate" for them to make a determination on the issue of marriage. From the actual Court statement:
"Of all the ways to resolve this question, one option is not available: a poll of the three judges on this panel, or for the matter all federal judges, about whether gay marriage is a good idea. Our judicial commissions did not come with such a sweeping grant of authority, one that would allow just three of us -- just two in truth -- to make such a vital policy call for the thirty-two million citizens who live within the four States of the Sixth Circuit: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee."
The court also went on to say:
"...When the courts do not let the people resolve new social issues like this one, they perpetuate the idea that the heroes in these change events are judges and lawyers. Better in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue in a fair-minded way." (Bold lettering added for emphasis).
The FPI says this is just the latest chapter in what has been, and will continue to be, a long and vigorous debate of what constitutes marriage.