Federal judge puts same-sex marriages on hold
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Same-sex marriages have been put on hold in Wisconsin by a federal judge who last week struck down the state's gay marriage ban as unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb's ruling Friday means that gay marriages, which have been taking place across the state for a week, will end while the case is pending.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen requested that Crabb's ruling be put on hold. Crabb last week declared the state's ban unconstitutional but did not tell the state how to proceed. On Friday she issued an order saying the weddings are legal, but then put it on hold per Van Hollen's request.
Crabb says in her ruling that putting it on hold is difficult "After seeing the expressions of joy on the faces of so many newly wedded couples."
All but 12 of Wisconsin's 72 county clerks began issuing licenses to same-sex couples after Crabb's ruling last week, even though Van Hollen had argued that was premature.
“I am very pleased that Judge Crabb has followed the lead of courts across the country, including the United States Supreme Court, and fully stayed her ruling. By staying this ruling, she has confirmed that Wisconsin’s law regarding same-sex marriage remains in full force and effect.
“The state and all of its agencies and subdivisions must follow and enforce Wisconsin’s marriage law. County clerks do not have authority under Wisconsin law to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Judge Crabb’s stay makes this abundantly clear,” Van Hollen said.
Wisconsin Senator, Tammy Baldwin also released a statement after the ruling.
“I believe that we owe it to the next generation to give them a Wisconsin that is more equal, not less equal. The Wisconsin I know deserves better than a Governor defending discrimination and an Attorney General prosecuting progress. Wisconsin should be a place where every family’s love and commitment can be recognized and respected under the law. It is time for Governor Walker and Attorney General Van Hollen to stop standing in the way of freedom, fairness and equality for all Wisconsinites. Love is love, family is family, and discriminating against anyone’s love, against anyone’s family, is just plain wrong.”
The state will likely appeal to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, but there is no set time frame.