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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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