Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley on Thursday called on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down Ohio's ban on gay marriage.

“Allowing same-sex couples to marry is a matter of basic fairness and decency,” said Cranley. “Everyone in Ohio should be free to marry the person they love and be able to care for them by sharing in the same protections as everyone else. Thousands of gay couples in Ohio are raising families, and they should be treated with dignity and respect. The 6th Circuit Court can and should strike down the marriage ban in Ohio as soon as possible.”

A 3-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit earlier this month heard 2 Ohio cases challenging the state's ban, approved by voters in 2004.

Cranley is one of 18 Ohio mayors who have endorsed marriage equality. According to Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, 488 mayors nationwide support allowing gay couples to marry, including 18 from Ohio.

Ohio mayors who have endorsed marriage equality include: Frank Jackson of Cleveland; Michael Coleman of Columbus; Nan Whaley of Dayton; John McNally of Youngstown; Don Plusquellic of Akron; Dennis Wilcox of Cleveland Heights; Gary Norton of East Cleveland; William Healy of Canton; David Berger of Lima; Joe Cicero, Jr. of Lyndhurst; Susan Renda of Moreland Hills; Richard Bain of Pepper Pike; Georgine Welo of South Euclid; David Foubert of Yellow Springs; Sara Drew of Stow; Mike Summers of Lakewood; and Kim Maggard of Whitehall.