Gay marriage has a troubled history, but so far it managed to get legal approval in 19 states and Washington D.C. On Thursday a Republican judge ruled that Wisconsin and Indiana must lift their bans against gay marriage. Judge Richard Posner was appointed by Republican president Ronald Reagan in 1981. The judge ruled in favor of gay marriage, calling the two states arguments against it as “totally implausible.” Posned announced the decision taken by a panel of three judges in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in Chicago. He was the only Republican judge from the panel.
“Heterosexuals get drunk and pregnant, producing unwanted children; their reward is to be allowed to marry. Homosexual couples do not produce unwanted children; their reward is to be denied the right to marry. Go figure,” Posner said.
“Homosexuals are among the most stigmatized, misunderstood, and discriminated-against minorities,” he concluded. Clearly Judge Posner had his mind set on the matter, as the 40-pages ruling was realeased just nine days after the oral arguments have been heard. The arguments brought by the state’s attorneys – that same-sex marriage is useless, as the couples cannot bear children – were easily combated.
The decision must be analyzed by the Supreme Court. A final decision will be taken in June 2015 the latest, when the Supreme Court’s next term ends.
It is not the first time a judge rules against what states have decided regarding the legality of gay marriage. Bans against gay marriage have been lifted similarly in Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma.
Neither Indiana’s, nor Wisconsin’s general attorneys are happy about the decision. Both of them hope that the Supreme Court will decide in favor of maintaining the present legal approach of the states on the matter. “The attorney general has always believed that this case will ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court,” said Dana Brueck, the spokeswoman of Wisconsin’s state general attorney.
Every time there was a ruling imposed by regional appeals court, the matter has been forwarded to the Supreme Court for a final take on the matter. The recurrence of appeals to the Supreme Court shows once more just how sensitive the issue is at state level politics.
The appeal court removes gay marriage ban in the two states after just a day earlier, a federal judge in Louisiana acted similarly. The decision comes as a first after at least 20 attempts were refused in Louisiana.