CINCINNATI, Ohio (AP) - A three-judge panel is now considering whether Kentucky's laws barring same-sex marriage are constitutional.
Attorneys representing multiple gay couples in Kentucky told the judges that there's no rational reason for barring same-sex couples from getting married.
Lawyers hired by Gov. Steve Beshear say the state should be allowed to ban same-sex marriage because it has an economic interest in married couples having children.
Kentucky's cases stem from rulings earlier this year that the state's ban on recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages and the state's prohibition on issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples violated the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause.
One of the judges hearing arguments about the bans in Kentucky and three other states says "it doesn't look like the sky has fallen in" in other states that allow same-sex marriage.
Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey made the comment Wednesday in Cincinnati as she and two other judges on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals questioned lawyers on both sides during the biggest court session yet of federal legal battles over gay marriage.
They were hearing cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Another judge, Jeffrey Sutton, repeatedly asked whether trying to get the issue changed before the U.S. Supreme Court was the right course instead of waiting for popular change.
The judges didn't indicate when they would rule in the cases.