Judges blast Indiana, Wisconsin gay marriage bans
CHICAGO (AP) — Federal appeals judges bristled Tuesday at arguments defending gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin, with one Republican appointee comparing them to now-defunct laws that once outlawed weddings between blacks and whites.
As the legal skirmish over same-sex marriage shifted to the three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, more than 200 people lined up hoping to get a spot in the hearing room.
Attorneys general in both states are trying to reinstate bans that were ruled unconstitutional in June. The outcome of the case also could directly affect hundreds of couples who were married after federal judges overturned the bans but before their rulings were put on hold pending appeal.
Judge Richard Posner, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, was dismissive when Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Timothy Samuelson repeatedly pointed to ‘tradition’ as the underlying justification for barring gay marriage.
Posner frequently cut off Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fischer, just moments into his presentation and chided him to answer his questions.