On this Wednesday, August 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will review same-sex marriage cases from each of the four states in its geographic area – Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. A panel of three judges in Cincinnati will hear the landmark cases from the four states.
April DeBoer and her family, at the center of one of the cases from Michigan, will be participating in a couple of events before heading down to Cincinnati for Wednesday's hearing. DeBoer and her partner of fourteen years, Jayne Rowse originally challenged Michigan's same-sex marriage ban in 2012 for the right to jointly adopt their children. Tuesday evening two simultaneous interfaith rallies will take place in Warren and Lansing, Michigan. Faith leaders from many congregations, including Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Jewish, American Baptist and more will give their blessings to all families. "From a faith perspective, marriage equality is about recognizing lifelong love and commitment within the full diversity of human experience,” said Reverend Mike Cooper, Inclusive Justice Board Member and Associate Pastor of Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ in Lansing.
Tennessee is already preparing to welcome marriage equality into the state. The Tennessee Equality Project Foundation is touring around the state through the month of August to make sure everyone is ready for the first days of marriage equality. The group is putting on information sessions for same-sex couples who would like to get married, allies who are interested in volunteering to help with safety and logistics, and clergy and elected officials who want to solemnize marriages.
On the eve of the hearing in Cincinnati, the Rally for Marriage will bring together people from all four states to cheer on marriage equality and build excitement for Wednesday's events. According to Why Marriage Matters Ohio, this will be the largest marriage equality rally Ohio has ever seen, with attendees being encouraged to wear red in support of marriage equality. Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland is among the featured speakers, along with April DeBoer and her family.
And on the day of the hearing, there will be a March for Marriage Equality in front of the Cincinnati Federal Court House while the hearing takes place.
Wednesday will be a momentous day for individuals and families in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. Attend one of the events in your area and be on the lookout for more news after Wednesday! And visit www.glaad.org/marriage for the latest marriage equality news.