Sunday, June 15, 2014

162.2 - Good News: same-sex marriage comes to Wisconsin

Good News: same-sex marriage comes to Wisconsin

Updated On another front, as I said last week was expected, Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down as unconstitutional. This is the 14th consecutive failure by the bigots to maintain legal approval of their bigotry.

US District Judge Barbara Crabb said that her review of the law "convinces me that plaintiffs are entitled to the same treatment as any heterosexual couple," and so "I conclude that the Wisconsin laws banning marriage between same-sex couples are unconstitutional."

She created some confusion because despite striking down the law, she did not immediately issue an order blocking its enforcement - but neither did she issue a stay, saying she would not act on the request for a one until after the American Civil Liberties Union, which had filed the suit on behalf of eight same-sex couples, tells her exactly what it wants her to block in the law. So there was some confusion among county clerks as to whether or not they should issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, although within a couple of days most had decided to go ahead.

It seems that every one of these pro-marriage-justice decisions has some memorable line in it. I loved this bit from Judge Crabb, smacking down the "it's traditional" argument:
As an initial matter defendants and amici have overstated their argument. Throughout history, the most "traditional" form of marriage has not been between one man and one woman, but between one man and multiple women, which presumably is not a tradition that defendants and amici would like to continue.

Updated with the news that Judge Crabb has issued a stay of her ruling while the state appeals. She said she was conflicted, but felt obliged to follow the guidance of the Supreme Court, which issued a stay in another same-sex marriage case when the district judge did not.

More than 500 same-sex couples got married in the week between the ruling and the stay. However, those in counties with did not waive the standard five-day waiting period are now in legal limbo: They have marriage licenses but can't get married.

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