Sixth Circuit Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Bans

November 7, 2014
By a two-to-one vote, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the right of states to ban same-sex marriages yesterday , overturning rulings in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Going forward, the challengers in the cases can either ask the full Sixth Circuit bench to reconsider their cases (en banc) or appeal directly to the Supreme Court. Although the Supreme Court recently denied review to several cases dealing with the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans, Justice Ginsburg stated in September that “if that court [the Sixth Court] should disagree with the others then there will be some urgency in the Court taking the case.” Since the Sixth Court ruled against marriage equality, whereas most other circuit courts have ruled in its favor, there’s reason to believe based on Justice Ginsburg’s quote that there’s a good chance the Supreme Court could take up this case if it is appealed to them. The Torah teaches us (Genesis 1:27) that all people are created b’tzelem Elohim (in the Divine image), and are therefore entitled to be treated equally, with both dignity and respect. As a Movement with a long history of advocating for LGBT Equality, we hope that if this case comes before the Supreme Court, the Court will take the case and finally rule that all same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional. As we wait for the Supreme Court to take action to strike down legal barriers to LGBT couples, we can take actions in our own communities to remove barriers to LGBT inclusion. The RAC’s LGBT webpage offers a variety of resources, including LGBT Equality Resources for Reform Congregations to help congregations becomes more inclusive of LGBT individuals.

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