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Kentucky Couples File Brief in Same-Sex Marriage Case Before Supreme Court

In a legal brief filed Friday to the U.S. Supreme Court, Kentucky couples challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage argued that the 2004 law violates constitutional due process and equality protections.

The brief is one of the first legal steps before the nation's highest court rules on the case—along with same-sex marriage cases from three other states. Same-sex marriage lawsuits from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan are going to be heard and ruled on by the court at the same time.

The cases were argued before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, which eventually ruled in favor of the states' bans. It's the only federal appeals court to rule in favor of bans.

Dan Canon, a Louisville and part of the Kentucky couples' legal team, said this case will decide this issue once and for all.

“The court has granted certiorari on this case for a reason, and that reason is to determine whether or not there is a constitutional right for persons of the same sex to have their marriages recognized as being real marriages,” he said.

The Kentucky legal team representing the couples also includes the American Civil Liberties Union, Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic and the Fauver Law Office in Louisville.

Canon said the team is optimistic they will have better luck before the U.S. Supreme Court than they did before the appeals court.

“We are excited,” he said. “We are optimistic. We think this is the right time. These are the right clients.  This is right set of briefs. This is the right set of circumstances. This is the right court and we think they are going to make the right decision.”

Gov. Steve Beshear is the defendant in the case. All four states will issue a response to the brief filed on Friday. Canon said SCOTUS will likely begin hearing oral arguments at the end of April.

The court will issue a ruling this summer.