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Wisconsin's same sex marriage ban indirectly on trial at U.S. Supreme Court


WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - Wisconsin’s ban on same sex marriages is essentially on trial in Washington this week.

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments Tuesday on California’s same sex marriage ban. And Wednesday, the justices will consider a challenge to the National Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents legally-married same sex couples from getting a host of benefits given to straight couples.

It’s the first time in a decade that the nation’s highest court is examining gay rights. Julaine Appling of the Wisconsin Family Council says her group is, “cautiously optimistic” that the two measures will be ruled constitutional.

She said the justices need to consider a, “prudent, rule of law standing, and understand that people in our state have a right to make laws that are applicable to their people.”

The pro-family group helped convince 59 percent of Wisconsin voters to approve a constitutional amendment in 2006 that banned gay marriages and civil unions in Wisconsin – declaring that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The group also tried to claim that the amendment made the 2009 same sex partner registry illegal, in which gay couples could claim about a fifth of the benefits of married couples.

The Wisconsin courts have refused to strike down the registry.