Federal appeals court rules against gay marriage bans in Wisconsin, Indiana

Earlier today a three-judge panel of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld lower federal court decisions in Madison and Indianapolis which overturned bans on same-sex marriage in Wisconsin and Indiana.

While you can read the entire decision here, here’s my favorite passage:

“Wisconsin points out that many venerable customs appear to rest on nothing more than tradition—one might even say on mindless tradition. Why do men wear ties? Why do people shake hands (thus spreading germs) or give a peck on the cheek (ditto) when greeting a friend? Why does the President at Thanksgiving spare a brace of turkeys (two out of the more than 40 million turkeys killed for Thanksgiving dinners) from the butcher’s knife? But these traditions, while to the fastidious they may seem silly, are at least harmless. If no social benefit is conferred by a tradition
and it is written into law and it discriminates against a number of people and does them harm beyond just offending them, it is not just a harmless anachronism; it is a violation of the equal protection clause…”

Predictably, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has indicated he will appeal the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to the United States Supreme Court, because his bigotry apparently knows no limits.


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