Created: 09/04/2014 2:26 PM WDIO.com
CHICAGO (AP) - 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 bumps the number of states where gay marriage will be legal from 19 to 21. 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 stayed those rulings pending its own decision.
During oral arguments in August, one judge appointed by a Republican likened same-sex marriage bans to laws once barring interracial marriage. Judge Richard Posner said they derived from "hate ... and savage discrimination" of gays.
The states argued the prohibitions helped foster a centuries-old tradition.
Wisconsin to appeal marriage ruling to high court
Wisconsin's attorney general says he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the federal appellate ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban.
Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's spokeswoman, Dana Brueck, said in an email to The Associated Press that Van Hollen has always believed the case will be decided in the that court.
Brueck says the stay remains in place until all appeals are exhausted.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Former Wisconsin DA Practicing in Superior After Suspension
A former Wisconsin district attorney whose resignation made national news is now practicing law in the Northland. Attorney Ken Kratz has opened a law office in Superior, and he's also taking on cases as a public defender. Kratz said Monday in a phone conversation that he's pleased to be moving forward and that incidents five years ago don't define him...
Duluth School Board Member Censured for Releasing Private Data
The Duluth School Board censured fellow board member Harry Welty based on two instances when Welty released private data. Chair Mike Miernicki said that information was confidential and put the district at risk.
Mental Competency Exam Requested for Murder Suspect
Attorneys for a woman accused of killing her aunt have requested a mental competency exam. Twenty-one-year-old Lydia Marie Barney faces second-degree murder charges for the October stabbing death of Waubunoquay Dawn Randall.
Former Duluth Teacher Sentenced for Criminal Sexual Conduct Charge
A former Duluth teacher and adviser was sentenced to 10 years probation on Monday for a criminal sexual conduct charge. The sentence includes one year at the Northeast Regional Corrections Center.
Experts Say Great Lakes Wolves Aren't Endangered
A group of wolf experts disputes that gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan are endangered or that a judge's ruling will help the population spread to other states.