A federal appeals court panel in Ohio upheld four states' bans on gay marriage Thursday, setting the stage for the Supreme Court to rule finally on the constitutionality of same-sex marriages.
The ruling by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals is the first by a federal appellate court to formally deny gay couples a right to marry.
It follows a year in which federal judges across the nation repeatedly ruled that since marriage is a fundamental right, states had no justification for denying marriage to gays and lesbians.
The opinion upheld bans on gay marriage in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Maryland state Sen. Jamie B. Raskin, a Democrat from Montgomery...