Mark your calendar for Aug. 6: There's a major marriage-equality hearing that day, covering five cases across four different states.
The number of lawsuits filed against marriage-equality bans has surged in recent months, reaching more than halfway to triple digits. Courts have been flooded with federal challenges.
In that context it makes sense that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals would try to consolidate some of the cases before it. Four states have marriage lawsuits that are on roughly similar timelines, so it's convenient to be able to hear them all at once.
The cases in question come from Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky. Most of the cases are fairly narrow and concern questions like out-of-state license recognition or death certificates.
Michigan's case is the broad exception: That case saw a comprehensive trial, the first since AFER's challenge to Proposition 8.
It's anyone's guess whether the court will issue a ruling on all five cases at once or issue separate rulings over the next few few months. But a decision is likely well in advance of the deadline for petitioning the Supreme Court, so these five cases are almost assured to reach the highest court in the land this fall.
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