Wisconsin AG appeals to stop same-sex marriages, at least for now

Some counties in Wisconsin adopted a wait-and-see attitude on same-sex marriage Monday as the state asked for a stay of a judge's ruling on same-sex marriage.
By Frances Burns  |  June 9, 2014 at 12:31 PM
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MADISON, Wis., June 9 (UPI) -- Wisconsin's attorney general asked a federal appeals court Monday to block a judge's ruling that the state must allow same-sex couples to marry.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, who ruled Friday that Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, could also grant a stay, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The judge scheduled a conference with plaintiffs and defendants for 1 p.m. to discuss the case.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said in his appeal that Wisconsin could still get Crabb's decision overturned.

"The importance of the state of Wisconsin's interest in avoiding confusion, uncertainty, and inconsistency in the interpretation and enforcement of state marriage law is indisputable," he said in court papers.

While 283 same-sex couples had marriage licences in Milwaukee, the state's largest city, and Madison, the capital, by Saturday afternoon, two plaintiff couples said they decided to wait. Leslie Linser and LuAnn Greiner said they are planning a church ceremony, while Garth Wangemann and Roy Badger said the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin advised them to hold off.

"I feel kind of torn. Part of me just wants to run down to the courthouse, but another part wants to wait until we know we're in the clear," Badger said Monday. "I want to make sure it's not being ripped away from us again."

But some couples did not want to wait. Kate Heusen and Jessica Courtier were married Friday night as their 3-year-old daughter watched.

Crabb did not provide instructions for local officials on how to comply with her order. While some counties began issuing same-sex licenses Friday and others on Monday, other county clerks said they were waiting to find out if a stay would be granted.

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