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Gay marriage: Indiana, Wisconsin lawsuits to be reviewed by court of appeals

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The same-sex marriage fight in the states of Wisconsin and Indiana has shifted to a federal appeals court in Chicago on Tuesday. Attorneys in both states are appealing previous rulings that have struck down each state’s ban on gay marriage. With the appeal, they are seeking to reinstate the bans which, in turn, would affect hundreds of couples who were married in June before a hold were placed on the rulings.

Attorneys representing Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller are due to present their oral arguments Tuesday morning to a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. While they will present arguments defending the ban, attorneys representing the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal are also scheduled to make arguments in favor of gay marriage.

While arguments are being presented on both sides of the fence, same-sex couples in both states are hopeful for a favorable outcome. They are hoping the three-judge panel hears their message seeking fairness and the right to be treated like any other couple. Advocates and supporters are also hoping the court of appeals follow rulings made by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver that declared bans in Oklahoma and Utah unconstitutional, and a ruling last month by the 4th Circuit Court in Richmond that struck down the ban on gay marriage in Virginia.

A favorable decision would put both states on the right side of history and continue the momentum set fourth by the Supreme Courts historic decision last year that struck down key components of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act. There is no timetable as to when a decision will be announced, but the losing side will have a chance to ask the Supreme Court to take up the case.

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