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6th Circuit judge slams same-sex marriage opponents during oral arguments

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The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals heard a flurry or oral arguments on Wednesday as six cases from all four states in its jurisdiction made their way through the court system. Pleasing the ears of marriage equality supporters, Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey showed outward support for the arguments of same-sex marriage in her questions and comments during the hearings.

During oral arguments for Tanco v. Haslam, a case from Tennessee, Judge Daughtrey interrupted Tennessee's state attorney. While attempting to argue that the state has a compelling interest in promoting opposite-sex couples in marriage laws because opposite-sex couples procreate, the attorney faced gutting remarks from Judge Daughtrey, who stated that, "...they're going to go on having those children, they're going to go on getting married, they're going to go on having children... There's nothing about this that has stopped any heterosexual couple from getting married."

Judge Daughtrey continued her assault, "If you didn't have in Tennessee a law or a constitutional amendment outlawing, forbidding same-sex marriages, people would still get married, they would still procreate, deliberately or accidentally. Life would go on just the way it has gone on. What is the point?"

Then, in oral arguments for Deboer v. Snyder, Judge Daughtrey was again on point. Following remarks from Michigan's state attorney, she noted "...a lack of demonstrably ill effects of gay marriage in the decade since it first became legal in Massachusetts," and she continued by stating, "It doesn't look like the sky has fallen."

Despite the interesting and compelling nature of these remarks, court observers are reluctant to use them in predictions as to the outcome of these cases. The three-judge panel is notably divided along political lines, as the two other judges on the panel were Bush-era appointments.

While the arguments are over, a ruling is still some time away. The court is expected to announce its decision in the next few weeks.