The Cincinnati-based leader of Roman Catholics in a 19-county archdiocese is urging them to pray that a federal appeals court considering same-sex marriage bans will uphold what he calls "traditional marriage."
Archbishop Dennis Schnurr says Ohio's bishops strongly supported the voter-approved 2004 state ban. He says traditional marriage is "the union of one man and one woman for life."
In the request circulated this week online, through social media and in emails, Schnurr expresses hope the court will "act wisely." His archdiocese includes nearly 500,000 Catholics.
A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will hear arguments Wednesday in six cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.
Some opponents of same-sex marriage plan to pray publicly outside the downtown courthouse. Supporters plan nearby rallies.