September 4, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

CHICAGO – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit today affirmed district court rulings from Indiana and Wisconsin striking down the states’ marriage bans. The decision will go into effect in 21 days, unless the defendants seek a stay of the ruling. 

Before the court were three cases from Indiana, Baskin v. Bogan, Fujii v. Governor, and Lee v. Abbott and one case from Wisconsin, Wolf v. Walker.  

Writing for the three judge panel, Judge Posner explained, "[M]ore than unsupported conjecture that same-sex marriage will harm heterosexual marriage or children or any other valid and important interest of a state is necessary to justify discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. As we have been at pains to explain, the grounds advanced by Indiana and Wisconsin for their discriminatory policies are not only conjectural; they are totally implausible."

"Today we join same-sex couples, their families and our allies across the country in celebrating this victory," said John Knight, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. "Every loving and committed couple in the U.S. should have the freedom to marry, protect their loved ones, and have their commitment honored by our legal system. We celebrate and tomorrow we continue the fight to make marriage equality the law of the land, not just in certain states."

James Esseks argued for the American Civil Liberties Union in Walker v. Wolf. The Wolf plaintiffs were also represented by John Knight of the ACLU LGBT Project, Larry Dupuis of the ACLU of Wisconsin and Hans J. Germann, Gretchen E. Helfrich and Frank Dickerson from the law firm of Mayer Brown. Kenneth Falk, Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, and Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Coordinator at Lambda Legal, argued for the plaintiffs in the Indiana cases.  

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