U.S. appeals court puts gay marriages on hold in Indiana

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 15, 2014 1:21 PM

(Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court panel on Monday put same-sex marriages on hold in Indiana while the state appeals its ruling overturning a ban on gay nuptials to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Indiana and Wisconsin both have asked the nation's highest court to uphold their respective bans in appeals from a 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling earlier in September that overturned bans in both states.

The appeals court order on Monday puts a hold on gay marriages in Indiana until the Supreme Court decides whether to hear the case or decides the appeal. A federal judge in Wisconsin had put on hold her decision overturning a state ban on gay marriage until the conclusion of any appeals.

There are gay marriage cases concerning five states pending at the high court. The Supreme Court's nine justices are due to meet on Sept. 29 to consider what new cases to take up for the coming term, which begins in October and ends in June.

Gay marriage advocates and supporters of the state bans both want the Supreme Court to take up the issue and decide whether states can ban same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court is expected to hear at least one of the cases.

A 7th Circuit panel on Sept. 4 ruled that Indiana and Wisconsin bans were invalid and arguments defending them raised by the states were "totally implausible."

More than 30 courts overall have ruled in favor of gay marriage since the Supreme Court in June 2013 struck down a key part of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, which denied benefits to same-sex married couples.

Gay marriage is legal in 19 of the 50 states and in Washington, D.C.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Bill Trott)