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In Appeal of Indiana Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit, Court Bristles at 'Traditional' Argument

Federal appeals court judges considering whether to uphold same-sex  marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin  reserved 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.In June, a U.S. District Judge ruled that Indiana's same-sex marriage banviolated the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The opinion was appealed, but some Indiana same-sex couples were married before a stay was issued. Earlier: Same-Sex Couples Get Marriage Licenses in Southern IndianaJudge 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."Earlier this month, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati heard oral arguments in an appeal of U.S. District Judge John Heyburn's rulings striking down Kentucky's same-sex marriage ban.