Appeals court consolidates Indiana and Wisconsin gay marriage cases


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CHICAGO — A federal appeals court has combined Indiana and Wisconsin's gay marriage cases and put them on the fast track.

The move Friday by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago comes a day after Wisconsin's attorney general filed a notice of appeal of a federal judge's ruling last month striking down that state's ban on same-sex marriages. Two weeks ago, the 7th Circuit put on hold a federal judge's ruling in Indiana striking down that state's gay marriage ban.

The lawsuit in Wisconsin was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of eight same-sex couples. The 7th Circuit previously ordered an expedited schedule in Indiana's case.

The court Friday ordered briefs to be filed by Aug. 4. Arguments will be scheduled by a separate court order.

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