UPDATE: Court Bristles at `Traditional' Marriage Argument

CHICAGO (AP) -- Federal appeals court judges considering whether to uphold gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin are reserving their toughest questions for the states, asking how the bans help society, especially children of same-sex couples.
A three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case Tuesday.
Judge Richard Posner, the panel's lone Republican appointee, bristled when a Wisconsin assistant attorney general repeatedly pointed to "tradition."
Posner said "it was tradition to not allow blacks and whites to marry." He also asked how children of same-sex couples benefit.
Judge David Hamilton pressed lawyers opposing the bans, asking whether they would argue for polygamy on similar grounds.
American Civil Liberties Union attorney Kenneth Falk said two people defined a marriage, and "there's no slippery slope."

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- U.S. Attorney James Santelle says the federal government is behind gay couples who are suing to have the right to marry.
The federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of Wisconsin spoke Monday at a rally in Milwaukee before gay couples and their supporters boarded a bus to Chicago, where arguments will be held Tuesday in Wisconsin's gay marriage case.
A federal judge overturned Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage in June. The state appealed that decision to the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago.
Santelle is not involved in the lawsuit. But he says the couples' fight to have the same rights as opposite-couples "is what America is all about," and he is telling gay couples that "the federal government and the U.S. Department of Justice is with you."

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Two gay couples suing for the right to marry are off to Chicago to listen to oral arguments before a federal appeals court.

Carol Schumacher and Virginia Wolf and Judi Trampf and Katy Heyning boarded a bus Monday morning after a send-off at the OutReach LGBT Center in Madison. About two dozen people showed up to see them off.

The women are among a group of eight gay couples that have challenged Wisconsin's gay marriage ban. A federal judge struck the ban down in June but the state is appealing. Hundreds of couples married during the week between the decision and an order putting it on hold.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago has combined Wisconsin's appeal with a similar one from Indiana. Arguments are set for Tuesday.

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