Federal appeals court hears 2 gay marriage cases from Kentucky amid day of arguments

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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — A three-judge panel is now considering whether Kentucky's laws barring same-sex marriage are constitutional.

Attorneys representing multiple gay couples told judges from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Wednesday that's there's no rational reason for barring same-sex couples from getting married.

Lawyers hired by Gov. Steve Beshear say the state should be allowed to ban same-sex marriage because it has an economic interest in married couples having children.

The appellate court panel heard the cases as part of a series of hearings on the same day on similar lawsuits across four states, including Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

Kentucky's cases stem from rulings earlier this year that the state's ban on recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages and the state's prohibition on issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples violated the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause.

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