The gay marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana are both unconstitutional, a federal appeals court in Chicago unanimously ruled Thursday.
The decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld lower court decisions in Madison and Indiana and helps set up an eventual ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on the historic question.
“More than unsupported conjecture that same-sex marriage will harm heterosexual marriage or children or any other valid and important interest of a state is necessary to justify discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.As we have been at pains to explain, the grounds advanced by Indiana and Wisconsin for their discriminatory policies are not only conjectural; they are totally implausible,” Richard Posner wrote in the 40-page decision.
Posner, one of the most prominent federal judges in the country, had shown strong skepticism of the bans at oral arguments in the case last week.
Also hearing the case were Judges David Hamilton and Ann Claire Williams. Posner was appointed to the appeals court by President Ronald Reagan, Williams by President Bill Clinton and Hamilton by President Barack Obama.