7th Circuit Again Rules Against State's Gay Marriage Ban
4:10 p.m. UPDATE:
Indiana Public Broadcasting's Brandon Smith reports the earlier stay in the case is still in effect, meaning same-sex couples wanting to marry in Indiana or Wisconsin still cannot until the stay is lifted.
4:00 p.m. UPDATE:
Here's more from Posner's ruling. He notes homosexuality is not a choice, as some detractors have claimed, but an "immutable characteristic":
"Discrimination by a state or the federal government against a minority, when based on an immutable characteristic of the members of that minority (most familiarly skin color and gender), and occurring against an historical background of discrimination against the persons who have that characteristic, makes the discriminatory law or policy constitutionally suspect."
Posner goes on to say that striking down gay marriage bans could lead to more tolerance among society as a whole:
"Not that allowing same-sex marriage will change in the short run the negative views that many Americans hold of same-sex marriage. But it will enhance the status of these marriages in the eyes of other Americans, and in the long run it may convert some of the opponents of such marriage by demonstrating that homosexual married couples are in essential respects, notably in the care of their adopted children, like other married couples."
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down Indiana's same-sex marriage ban.
In his opinion upholding a district court ruling, Judge Richard Posner says Indiana's government gives no reason to think there's a "rational basis" for denying same-sex couples the right to marry.
He says the state argument that same-sex couples don't need marriage because they can't produce children is, in his words, "so full of holes it cannot be taken seriously."
This story will be updated.