The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit became the first circuit court to uphold state bans on same-sex marriage with a 2-1 decision Thursday afternoon. Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee all had their gay marriage bans struck down at the district level, but those rulings have now been overturned.
Although the Sixth Circuit is in the minority—the Fourth, Seventh, Ninth and Tenth have each overturned bans on same-sex unions—the decision is significant because it creates a split that will likely send the issue to the Supreme Court.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in September that there would be "some urgency" for the SCOTUS to make a decision on state gay marriage bans if the Sixth Circuit didn't fall in line with rulings from other jurisdictions.
Last year, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and allowed a California court to block a same-sex marriage ban in that state. And just last month, the Justices declined to hear appeals from five states that wanted their own bans upheld, effectively making gay and lesbian marriages legal in those states.
[Photo: AP Images]