Wisconsin became the 27th state where same-sex couples can get married thanks to a judge ruling prohibiting them from doing so is unconstitutional.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and clearing the way for couples to marry immediately, according to the Associated Press.
However, county clerks in Milwaukee and Madison told the AP they were not sure when they could begin issuing marriage licenses.
“Milwaukee County Clerk Joe Czarnezki said he was keeping his office open while an attorney reviewed the decision in case he could begin accepting marriage licenses Friday evening,” the AP reported.
In February, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of four same-sex couples, then added four more couples, challenging the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Wisconsin voters approved the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2006.
Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, is an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage as well as Wisconsin’s 2009 domestic partner registry law.
From Judge Crabb’s ruling: “Perhaps it is true that the Wisconsin legislature and voters would choose to repeal this marriage amendment and amend the statuary marriage laws to be inclusive of same-sex couples at some point in the future. Perhaps it is also true that, if the courts had refused to act in the 1950s and 1960s, eventually all states would voted to end segregation and repeal anti-miscegenation laws. Regardless, a district court may not abstain from deciding a case because of a possibility that the issue raised in the case could be resolved in some other way at some other time.”
From an ACLU press release:
Two of the plaintiffs, Kami Young and Karina Willes of West Milwaukee, were legally married last year in Minnesota and have a newborn daughter. But because Young is the birth mother, she is the only one who is recognized as the legal parent on the birth certificate.
“Our daughter has two parents who love her dearly,” said Willes. “I am no less a mother to her than Kami is, and she deserves the security of having both of her parents legally recognized. Our daughter shouldn’t have second-class protections.”
“We are tremendously happy that these loving and committed couples will now be able to access the security and recognition that only marriage provides,” said Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin. “These discriminatory laws are falling around the country and it is only right that Wisconsin move forward as well.”
The complete 88-page ruling is available by clicking here.