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Appeals court questions Indiana and Wisconsin gay marriage bans

By Kyle Johnson,

A U.S. appeals court aggressively questioned attorneys defending the Indiana and Wisconsin same-sex marriage bans, giving the appearance they could follow in the footsteps of other federal courts and strike down the restrictive laws.

A three-judge panel for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Chicago, heard arguments on Tuesday and pushed attorneys for reasons the bans should stay in place, Reuters reports.

The panel consists of two Democratic appointed judges and one Republican appointed judge, who led the way in questioning state attorneys.

Judge Richard Posner asked them to explain how gay marriage harmed either state. "Answer the question. What is the harm? Does it hurt the children?"

The judge, appointed by a Republican administration, also blasted the old-fall back argument: tradition.

"They made the same arguments of tradition for banning interracial marriage," Posner said. "We've been doing stupid things for 100 years or 1,000 years, so we'll continue doing them?"

According to USA Today, the attorneys for Indiana and Wisconsin struggled to respond to the questioning from the panel with Indiana State Solicitor Thomas Fisher claiming marriage was created so as to encourage responsible parenting.

"It's biology," the attorney claimed. "It's simply that men and women make babies."

Still, while the panel was tough, courts often take an opposite side to how they might rule while listening to arguments as they examine the weakest arguments.

Though with the meek responses the state attorneys offered up, it's likely the court could follow how other appellate courts have by striking down the bans as unconstitutional.

 
 

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