In 2014 the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman was challenged in the higher courts. In the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals case in particular, which was argued in Cincinnati on August 6, 2014, and decided on November 6, 2014, the traditional view of marriage as between one man and one woman was upheld. The outcome of this case affected the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio.
Then the case went to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Court Case Timeline
On April 28th, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of marriage laws in Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio, looking specifically at whether state laws defining marriage as the relationship between one man and one woman are unconstitutional and whether states that define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman have to give legal recognition to a marriage between two people of the same sex performed in another state. Check out the courtroom schedule. Get the transcripts and audio files of the April 28th oral arguments.
On Friday, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court made a decision about marriage, which did not favor the biblical definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. In fact, five justices on the Supreme Court overturned the votes of 50 million Americans who were for traditional marriage and demanded that the American people walk away from a definition of marriage defined by God millennia ago. But no matter what our Supreme Court ruled, in God’s eyes, the only legitimate marriage is still and will always be between one man and one woman, and those who choose to still hold fast to this definition will not be silent for long, particularly once they experience the effects of this ruling in ways they never envisioned.
- Read the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Marriage
- The U.S. Supreme Court has received more than 60 friend-of-the-court briefs over the last few weeks in support of state laws affirming marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The breadth of the reasons they provide for supporting God’s design for marriage is quite encouraging. Review the summary of the topics covered by the briefs:http://www.adfmedia.org/News/PRDetail/9604
- Congress’ Amicus Brief
- Family Policy Councils, CitizenLink, and Focus on the Family File Brief
- Family Research Council Files Brief
- Tennessee Attorney General’s Brief in Support of Marriage
- Ryan Anderson’s explanation of the constitutional issue at stake
- 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Case argued on 8/6/14 and decided 11/6/14
Court Case Challenged in Tennessee in 2016
On January 21, 2016, David Fowler, on behalf of the Constitutional Government Defense Fund, filed a lawsuit in Williamson County, Tenn., challenging the Supreme Court same-sex “marriage” ruling, Obergefell v. Hodges.
Then, on February 4, 2016, a second lawsuit was filed in Bradley County, Tenn.
The intention of the lawsuits was to keep local officials from being sued in federal court and hauled off to jail for contempt for not obeying a federal court order as related to marriage licenses and to focus on the really important legal issue—the lawfulness and constitutionality of Obergefell—in Tennessee’s state court, where there was some measure of judicial accountability, rather than federal court.
See a flowchart of the lawsuit.