US appeals court rules gay marriage bans in Wisconsin, Indiana unconstitutional

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CHICAGO — A U.S. appeals court in Chicago has ruled that gay marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana are unconstitutional.

Thursday's decision by a three-judge panel at the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is another in a series of courtroom winds for gay-marriage advocates. The decision was unanimous.

The Wisconsin and Indiana cases shifted to Chicago after their attorneys general appealed separate lower court rulings in June tossing the bans. The 7th Circuit put those rulings on hold pending its own decision.

Thursday's 40-page decision blasted the states' justifications for their bans, several times singling out the argument that only marriage between a man and a woman should be allowed because it's tradition.

Wisconsin Attorney General General J.B. Van Hellen said he would appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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