HRC Blog

Marriages on Hold in Wisconsin

FlagOn Friday U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb's ruled to put marriage equality on hold in Wisconsin. Same-sex marriages have come to a halt while an appeal from Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is pending. On June 6th Judge Crabb ruled against Wisconsin’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality and since then approximately 500 couples were able to wed.  

Wisconsin was the twelfth state to see such a ban struck down in federal court since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its historic marriage rulings last June.  In Wolf v. Walker, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Wisconsin and the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP sued the state on behalf of four couples seeking to marry, arguing that the Wisconsin’s ban on marriage equality violates the couples’ due process and equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  

In her ruling, Judge Crabb stated, “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. 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. However, a federal district court is required to follow the guidance provided by the Supreme Court."

It is expected that Attorney General Van Hollen will appeal the ruling to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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