Federal appeals court hears arguments on same-sex marriage ban in Wisconsin, Indiana

CHICAGO (WITI) — Government lawyers arguing to keep a same-sex marriage ban in place were grilled by a three-judge panel in Chicago on Tuesday, August 26th. Those judges make up the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- and those judges must now decide the future of that ban.

Outside of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago, the Windy City howled with energy. But inside, a 7th grade boy held his breath as the fate of his family was being argued.

"I hope the judges let us, let them, let everyone be allowed to get married to the one they love. Because it doesn't matter if you like the opposite sex or the same sex, you should know that if you want to get married, it should be with the one you love," said Christopher Kemp.

Kemp is the 12-year-old son of Charvonnee Kemp and Marie Carlson. They've been partners for eight years -- and are the original plaintiffs in a legal case arguing Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.

"There are so many people going through the same thing we are, and all of these people deserve the same rights as everybody else," said Carlson.

"In a lot of ways, that is what it's about. It is about our children," said Kemp.

Both Wisconsin and Indiana had similar cases -- and both fall under the country's 7th Circuit. So the court combined the appeals.

Under questions from the panel, lawyers for both governments failed to give a single example of harm that gay marriages would cause.

"Clearly there's tremendous harm to same-sex couples and their children, but there's no harm to anyone else," said Camilla Taylor, lawyer for the Indiana plaintiffs.

The Wisconsin Attorney General's Office did not comment after the arguments. But Julaine Appling of Wisconsin Family Action, a conservative organization behind the ban, was in attendance.

"Think about how many millions of people voted for these amendments across this country, and a handful of federal judges have overturned it -- a handful," said Appling.

"But do you think the democratic process should be subject to constitutional review by these courts?" asked FOX6's Mike Lowe.

"I think the judges downplayed the significance of how we got to our amendment," said Appling.

"Are you on the wrong side of history?" asked Lowe.

"I'm not concerned about the right and wrong side of history, I'm concerned about the right side of the truth," said Appling.

For young Christopher Kemp, the issue isn't really about history. It's about his story.

"My mom likes my other mom and they're both females. That's the only difference. At school there may be some people who don't like gay people, but I don't care, I like my parents, and I am who I am, and if they don't like it, then they don't have to worry about it," said Christopher Kemp.

Same-sex advocates have won 20 consecutive cases. A decision in this case could come very soon.