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Wisconsin judge orders clerks to stop giving marriage certificates to gay couples

Wisconsin judge orders clerks to stop giving marriage certificates to gay couples

The judge who struck down Wisconsin’s anti-gay marriage law reluctantly issued a stay on her decision while the case is being appealed.

Late last week, US District Court Judge Barbara Crabb ruled LGBTI couples had the right to marry. Yesterday, 13 June, she put a hold on her decision while it’s reviewed by the 7th Circuit Court.

‘After seeing the expressions of joy on the faces of so many newly wedded couples featured in media reports, I find it difficult to impose a stay on the event that is responsible for eliciting that emotion, even if the stay is only temporary,’ Crabb wrote in the stay decision.

‘Same-sex couples have waited many years to receive equal treatment under the law, so it is understandable that they do not want to wait any longer,’ the judge continued. ‘However, a federal district court is required to follow the guidance provided by the Supreme Court.’

This means county clerks must stop issuing wedding licenses to LGBTI couples.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports 60 of the state’s 72 counties have provided gay marriage certificates since the judge’s ruling.

‘We are very pleased with the court’s ruling, which will ensure that same-sex couples can marry and receive the spousal protections that have been denied them for so very long,’ John Knight, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project, said in a statement.

The ACLU is one of the groups representing the eight couples suing the state.

‘In light of the stay, we will do everything we can to expedite the case for a quick ruling on appeal,’ Knight continued. ‘This is about basic liberty and equality for people who are being harmed daily by laws which deny them and their families the same basic protections and respect that other couples take for granted.’

Attorney General  J.B. Van Hollen has promised to appeal this case to the Supreme Court. He also warned that clerks who married gay couples can face charges.