On August 26, 2014, a three-judge panel of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit heard oral arguments in Chicago in cases challenging the marriage laws of two states, Indiana and Wisconsin.
I have already written a detailed blog post outlining highlights of the arguments and my reactions to them. However, I thought it would be worth sharing some more extended excerpts of the argument in defense of a one-man-one-woman definition of marriage. Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher outlined (and Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Timothy Samuelson endorsed) the core constitutional argument -- that marriage exists as a public institution primarily to promote responsible procreation.
At oral arguments, the attorneys are frequently interrupted by the judges, so the following quotes are taken from a variety of points during the argument. The quotes are my own transcription from the audio which the court posted here.
If we don’t have marriage, what is the issue we’re dealing with? We’re dealing with widespread heterosexual activity that creates babies. There has to be a mechanism to deal with that. The mechanism is, let’s channel potentially procreative couples into relationships that are durable and longstanding and will remain together for the sake of the child. . . .
The question is, “What can we do to nudge heterosexual couples, who may produce children, to plan for this -- to plan for the consequences and appreciate the consequences of sexual behavior?” Those consequences don’t arise with same-sex couples. . . . .
. . . [A]ll this is a reflection of biology. It’s simply that men and women make babies, and same-sex couples do not. . . .
We have to have a mechanism for dealing with those babies, and marriage is that mechanism.