Indiana Governor Mike Pence says he remains hopeful a federal appeals court will uphold the state's ban on gay marriage.

A 3-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago heard arguments Tuesday in appeals to cases that struck down bans in Wisconsin and Indiana.

Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fischer faced hostility from the judges to his arguments.

“I'm just grateful that the attorney general is appealing the case,” said Pence, a Republican, “and taking the argument for Indiana's state law all the way into the Court of Appeals.”

“I still hope that the court will side with the state's ability to craft laws in this area,” he added.

Judge Richard Posner, a Ronald Reagan appointee, harshly criticized the arguments made by defendants in support of the bans, at one point calling them “a tradition of hate.”

When he asked Fischer what benefits to society could possibly outweigh the damages the bans inflict on the children of gay and lesbian couples, Fischer answered, “All this is a reflection of biology.”

“Men and women make babies, same-sex couples do not … we have to have a mechanism to regulate that, and marriage is that mechanism,” Fischer answered.