MADISON, Wis. – On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb struck down the discriminatory amendment to the Wisconsin state constitution preventing same-sex couples from marrying.  Today, she held a hearing on Attorney General Van Hollen’s request to ‘stay’ her decision.  In the meantime, at least twenty Wisconsin counties have started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Judge Crabb’s ruling stated: “To the extent that defendants mean to argue a special rule should apply to the issue of same-sex marriage, they cite no authority for that view.  There is no asterisk next to the Fourteenth Amendment that excludes gay persons from its protections.” 

During today’s hearing, Judge Crabb did not rule on the emergency stay and instead set a hearing date for Thursday, June 19th to review the parties’ proposed injunctive language.  This morning, Attorney General Van Hollen made a request to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to stay Judge Crabb’s decision.

ACLU Client Marie Carlson, was encouraged by the decision, saying, “We practically live our lives as a married couple as it is. We have a child at home now and our other son is in the Air Force. We’re just normal everyday people, nothing special. Why shouldn’t our family have this freedom?”  Marie and her partner, Charvonne Kemp, are hoping to marry in October.

“We are confident that the appeals court will review the case and agree with Judge Crabb’s initial finding that this case is about the constitutional cornerstones of liberty and equality. This is about basic rights for people who are being harmed by the current law,” said ACLU of Wisconsin Legal Director Larry Dupuis.

The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the discriminatory ban on behalf of eight couples seeking the freedom to marry in Wisconsin or to have their out-of-state marriages recognized. More information about this case can be found at: www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/wolf-and-schumacher-v-walker