A three-judge appellate panel upheld Ohio's ban on same-sex marriage today, almost certainly setting the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the issue of marriage equality once and for all. Thirty-four states now allow same-sex marriages.
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals 36-page majority ruling, which upheld bans elsewhere in Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee, follows decisions by federal judges in each of those states to strike down similar bans.
In the 2-1 ruling written by Judge Jeffrey Sutton, he writes: "This is a case about change—and how best to handle it under the United States Constitution. From the vantage point of 2014, it would now seem, the question is not whether American law will allow gay couples to marry; it is when and how that will happen. That would not have seemed likely as recently as a dozen years ago.
"For better, for worse, or for more of the same, marriage has long been a social institution defined by relationships between men and women. So long defined, the tradition is measured in millennia, not centuries or decades. So widely shared, the tradition until recently had been adopted by all governments and major religions of the world." Joining Sutton's opinion was Judge Deborah Cook.