A lawyer in the US state of Michigan has drawn on some hard-hitting historical occurrences in challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Carol Stanyar was questioning an associate professor at Louisiana State University on his work challenging studies which have found that children of same-sex parents are not at a disadvantage compared to those of opposite-sex couples.

Professor Loren Marks claimed that the assertion was not backed up by enough research, but not before Stanyar pointed out that there was a time when scientists believed the world was flat.

She went on to assert that during the Salem witch trials in the 1600s, that some scientists would probably have believed that witches were real.

The lawsuit challenges a 2004 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage and is brought by two Detroit nurses who say it violates the US Constitution. It is currently in its eighth day of testimony.