Court rules against gay marriage bans in Indiana, Wisconsin

Dan Peo and Douglas Taylor were the first same-sex couple to get married in Tippecanoe County. (WLFI Photo/Holy Campbell)
Dan Peo and Douglas Taylor were the first same-sex couple to get married in Tippecanoe County. (WLFI Photo/Holy Campbell)

CHICAGO, Ill. (WISH) – A federal appeals court has ruled Indiana’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. The ruling was handed down late Thursday, less than two weeks after arguments were made before a three-judge panel.

The 40-page ruling affirms a lower-court ruling against the ban.

The unanimous opinion cites Indiana and Wisconsin “among the shrinking majority of states that do not recognize the validity of same-sex marriages,” and upholds district court rulings in both states.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller quickly said the state will seek a stay in the ruling. He also said it’s an issue the U.S. Supreme Court will have to settle.

“It seems clear that a final resolution of the constitutional issues involving states’ authority over their marriage licenses will need a decision from our nation’s highest court. Since the Supreme Court has already issued stay orders in two Circuit decisions, it seems appropriate that today’s decision also be stayed. Hopefully, for the interests of everyone on both sides of these cases, the Supreme Court will make a ruling sooner rather than later,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a news release.

In the opinion, Judge Richard Posner wrote that the two cases are “rich in detail, but ultimately straight-forward to decide. The challenged laws discriminate against a minority defined by an immutable characteristic, and the only rationale that the states put forth with any conviction–that same-sex couples and their children don’t need marriage because same-sex couples can’t produce children, intended or unintended—is so full of holes that it cannot be taken seriously.”

The American Civil Liberties Association of Indiana, which represented plaintiffs in the lawsuit, tweeted “we won!” after the ruling was handed down.

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