Arguments used by lawyers defending gay
marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana received a cold shoulder on
Tuesday from a 3-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of
Appeals in Chicago.
Both states are defending marriage bans
struck down by lower federal courts in June.
According to the
AP, more than 200 people showed up to witness arguments in the
Judge Richard Posner, a Ronald Reagan
appointee, scolded Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Timothy
Samuelson's assertion that such bans were based on “tradition.”
“It was tradition to not allow blacks
and whites to marry – a tradition that got swept away,” Posner
said. Laws excluding gay couples from marriage, he said, are “a
tradition of hate … and savage discrimination.”
He also asked Indiana Solicitor General
Thomas Fischer what benefits to society could possibly outweigh the
damage the bans inflict on the children of gay and lesbian couples.
“All this is a reflection of
biology,” Fischer answered. “Men and women make babies, same-sex
couples do not … we have to have a mechanism to regulate that, and
marriage is that mechanism.”
Also considering the challenges were
Judges Ann Claire Williams, who was appointed to the bench by Bill
Clinton, and David Hamilton, who was appointed by President Barack
Panel members were kept under wraps
until Tuesday. And when they were announced, marriage equality
advocates cheered, with progressive blog ThinkProgess.com
declaring that supporters had “just won the lottery.”
While rulings in two other appeals
courts considering similar challenges have been split, all three
Seventh Circuit judges appeared to express skepticism about arguments
presented in support of the bans.