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.

Thomas Fisher:                                                     

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.