Federal appeals court to hear gay marriage ban arguments for three states

Federal appeals court to hear gay marriage ban arguments for three states

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments for and against same-sex marriage bans in Idaho, Nevada and Hawaii on Monday.

On Monday, the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments supporting and opposing same-sex marriage bans in three states, reports the Christian Science Monitor.

The court has two hours of arguments scheduled for cases from Idaho, Nevada, and Hawaii. The Hawaii appeal may be dismissed, because the state legalized gay marriage in December.

States have an interest in promoting marriage between a man and a woman, which is optimal for child-rearing, say supporters of the ban.

Opponents of bans contend the child-rearing contention is not supported by data, and prohibitions against gay marriage are unconstitutional.

On Thursday in Chicago, a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals struck down same-sex marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin, unanimously ruling the bans unconstitutional.

“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,” wrote Judge  Richard Posner in a 40-page opinion.

The Seventh Circuit opinion also held that barring recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states is unconstitutional.

Same-sex marriage supporters have experienced many court victories in the past year. More than 20 federal judges have ruled that specific state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional.

In contrast, US District Judge Martin Feldman recently upheld the Louisiana ban on same-sex marriages.  Judge Feldman criticized the “volley of nationally orchestrated court rulings” by judges who “appear to have assumed the mantle of a legislative body,” in the court ruling issued Wednesday.

The other judges were misreading the US Supreme Court decision last year in US v. Windsor, the opinion that struck down a portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, said Judge Feldman.

Earlier this year, the Ninth Circuit relied on Windsor to hold that gays and lesbians cannot be excluded from juries because of their sexual orientation.

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