On the heels of a decision by a U.S. District Court Judge that found Wisconsin’s ban against same-sex marriage unconstitutional, 42 out of 72 Wisconsin county clerks began to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. More than 238 licenses were issued to same-sex couples in Madison and Milwaukee alone within hours of Judge Barbara Crabb’s ruling last Friday, in a case brought by the ACLU. U.S. District Court Judge Crabb denied a request to stay her decision as the State appeals, and is expected to draft an order, with ACLU input, that will make Wisconsin the 17th state to acknowledge marriage as a right, entitled to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.
The order would require state officials to let gay couples marry and to recognize gay marriages performed in other states. It also would guarantee gay couples who marry the same rights as opposite-sex couples.