Appellate Judges Unimpressed with Marriage Ban Arguments

August 27, 2014

On Tuesday, federal judges heard appeals made by attorneys defending Indiana’s and Wisconsin’s bans on same sex marriage. Only a few seconds into the opening statement from Indiana’s solicitor general, Judge Richard Posner interrupted with a tough line of questioning that included asking the Indiana counselor if it was better for children to have married or unmarried parents. He also asked why that should be any different for parents of the same or opposite sex. An answer was not immediately forthcoming.

Wisconsin counselor, Timothy Samuelson, had an equally difficult time when trying to defend his state’s law on the ground of “tradition.” The judges were unrelenting in asking him to explain why that was sufficient legal justification, and again, Judge Posner did not miss the opportunity: “It was tradition to not allow blacks and whites to marry — a tradition that got swept away.” The judge went on to note that such prohibitions derive from “a tradition of hate … and savage discrimination” against non-traditional couples.

All told, it was a rough day for the legal teams opposed to marriage equality. The official court ruling is forthcoming, but it would seem that justice is prepared to keep on rolling.

Read an assessment of the day’s legal proceedings here.

posted by Corbin Lambeth

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