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.''




UPDATE: CHICAGO, Ill. --- The judges have been selected to hear the cases for and against gay marriage in Wisconsin this morning.

Two democratic appointees and one Republican.

Officials with Lambda Legal, the group representing the same sex couples says "things couldn't have gone better" regarding judge selection.

There are only 75 seats available in the court room so some couples have been lined up at the courthouse to ensure their seat since 3 a.m.

The arguments are scheduled to begin at 9:30. Indiana will start with 20 minutes to defend its gay marriage ban, then Wisconsin will have 20 minutes to do the same.

After that the ACLU from each state will have 20 minutes to argue why the ban is unconstitutional.



MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ Gay couples and their supporters rallied in Madison, Milwaukee and Racine on Monday before taking buses to Chicago to listen to arguments in Wisconsin's gay marriage lawsuit.

Oral arguments will take place Tuesday before the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

The state is appealing a federal judge's June decision overturning Wisconsin's gay marriage ban. Hundreds of couples married in a week between the decision and an order putting it on hold.

Wisconsin's appeal has been combined with a similar one from Indiana. Gay marriage proponents have won more than 20 legal decisions against state same-sex marriage restrictions since the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year. Legal experts expect the issue to be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court sometime next year.