As federal judges heard arguments in six marriage equality cases on August 6, several hundred supporters of gay marriage rallied outside the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. Among them was Paul Evans, a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus.
Same-sex marriage strikes close to home for Evans, who is the parent of a bisexual daughter. "I want her to be able to marry the person of her choice, and not have to worry about her being denied that should she choose to marry a woman," he said.
Judges Martha Craig Daughtrey, Jeffrey S. Sutton and Deborah L. Cook heard testimony from cases in four states. The Ohio case addresses whether the state is obligated recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where it is legal. The Tennessee case focuses on the rights of three same-sex couples. The Michigan and Kentucky cases involve rulings that struck down gay marriage bans.
Leaders from several faith traditions participated in the demonstration. About 20 same-sex couples participated in a commitment ceremony that has no legal standing under Ohio's gay marriage ban.
Ohio Attorney General candidate David Pepper spoke out in favor of marriage equality. "The most memorable speaker was Stephen Snyder-Hill, a career Army officer who was booed during a GOP debate when he asked about repealing 'don't ask, don't tell,'" Paul Evans said. Snyder-Hill has written Soldier of Change: From the Closet to the Forefront of the Gay Rights Movement. George Takei wrote the foreword to the book, scheduled to be released in September.
"However the court rules, parties are likely to petition the U.S. Supreme Court for review," writes Matt Baume for Equality on Trial.