Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit is the latest to strike down state bans on same-sex marriage. / Phil Greer, AP

It took just nine days for the latest federal appeals court to rule that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.

With eye-popping speed that could put two new cases in the mix for eventual Supreme Court consideration, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit declared Thursday that gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin threaten "the welfare of American children."

The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel headed by Judge Richard Posner puts the fight for same-sex marriage rights back on track just one day after a federal judge in Louisiana became the first to uphold a state's ban in the wake of last year's Supreme Court rulings.

Certain to be appealed, the cases could become contenders for the Supreme Court's expected decision this fall to hear one or more cases in its upcoming 2014 term. Already, appeals court decisions striking down such bans in Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia are pending before the high court.

"The governments of Indiana and Wisconsin have given us no reason to think they have a 'reasonable basis' for forbidding same-sex marriage," the court said. Later in the 40-page decision, it called the states' asserted grounds "not only conjectural (but) totally implausible."

The ruling was the first from a federal appeals court panel to be unanimous, following 2-1 decisions issued by the 10th and 4th Circuits in recent months. Still to be heard from is the 6th Circuit, which heard cases last month from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee; and the 9th Circuit, which will hear cases Monday from Idaho and Nevada.

In additional, many more federal and state rulings are being appealed across the country, creating a potential long line of cases headed toward the Supreme Court.

To date, 19 states permit gay and lesbian marriages. Last year's Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor requires the federal government to recognize those marriages and offer benefits. The remaining 31 states still have bans in place, though judges in 14 states have struck them down.

Posner, who was named to the bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, is one of the nation's most respected and influential judges. During oral arguments in the two cases last week, he made no secret of his disdain for the gay marriage bans, often ridiculing the reasons offered by the Indiana and Wisconsin solicitors general.

"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," he concluded in his opinion.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Appeals court nixes Indiana, Wisconsin gay marriage bans

More In

test

Real Deals

Flip, shop and save on specials from your favorite retailers in central Ohio.

GET DEALS | COUPONS

Things To Do

SUN
21
MON
22
TUE
23
WED
24
THU
25
FRI
26
SAT
27

CLASSIFIEDS

Classifieds from across Central Ohio
Lancaster
Chillicothe
Newark
Marion
Bucyrus
Mansfield
Zanesville
Coshocton

Weeklies & Shoppers

10TV Headlines

Dispatch Headlines

METROMIX