More than half of Wisconsin counties issue marriage licenses to gay couples

Thu. June 12, 2014 11:26 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

milwaukee county courthouse

photo credit // andy ambrosius/
Milwaukee, WI - The number of Wisconsin counties issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian coupes continued to grow on Tuesday, despite a federal judge saying they did not have to.

Only the state's two most liberal counties – Dane, which includes Madison, and Milwaukee – issued marriage licenses over the weekend after U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb on Friday declared invalid Wisconsin's 2006 voter-approved constitutional amendment prohibiting state officials from recognizing any union other than a heterosexual marriage.

On Monday, Crabb refused to stay her ruling, adding that she had not ordered the state to begin issuing licenses to gay couples. She had given the ACLU, which is representing the 8 plaintiff couples in the challenge, until June 16 to tell her what parts of the law it wants her to block. That is, she declared the amendment to be unconstitutional but did not prohibit its enforcement, leaving counties to decide for themselves whether to begin issuing licenses.

According to the AP, 49 out of the state's 72 counties as of Tuesday were issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, though some had opted against waiving the state's 5-day waiting period.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen on Monday asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to stay the ruling. The appeals court could act as early as Wednesday.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine