Milwaukee – The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, the ACLU LGBT Project, and attorneys from Mayer Brown, today voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit they filed in federal court on behalf of same-sex couples married in Wisconsin during the week after June 6, 2014.
The case, Bloechl-Karlsen v. Walker, sought recognition by state officials of the marriages of four same-sex couples legally married in Wisconsin during the week between the District Court’s decision in Wolf v. Walker, overturning the ban on marriage for same-sex couples, and the Court’s subsequent stay of that ruling.
The Bloechl-Karlsen plaintiffs are voluntarily dismissing the case because the case has succeeded in persuading the state defendants to recognize the validity of the June marriages of same-sex couples as of the date of those marriages and remedy the specific harms experienced by the plaintiff couples. The defendants have taken steps to give the June marriages of same-sex couples the same respect and legal recognition given to married different-sex couples.
Kiersten Bloechl-Karlsen, one of the named plaintiffs in the case, said “We are so happy that the vow that we made to each other will now be honored by our state and our country. Marriage upholds the values we hold dear: commitment, stability, responsibility and most importantly, family. In our case, I’ve been a mother to our little girl since the day she was born but was not legally recognized as her parent nor listed as her parent on her birth certificate. Now that our marriage is recognized as valid, we can pursue an adoption so that our family will be fully protected.”
“This case forced the state to address the problems they had created by challenging the validity of the June marriages. As a result, the State of Wisconsin is doing the right thing now for these married couples,” said Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin. “The state has now correctly agreed to recognize the June marriages as of the date those couples married, and has taken concrete steps to make the promise of marriage equality a practical reality in Wisconsin.”
Approximately 550 same-sex couples legally married in Wisconsin during the week in June between the District Court’s decision overturning the ban on marriage for same-sex couples and Judge Crabb’s subsequent stay of that ruling.
The ACLU has been working for the rights of LGBT people since its first gay rights case, in 1936. The organization also filed the first ever freedom to marry lawsuit for same-sex couples in 1970, and represented Edie Windsor in her successful challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013. Since that time, the ACLU has filed numerous cases across the country seeking the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
The ACLU of Wisconsin is a non-profit, non-partisan, private organization whose 7,000 members support its efforts to defend the civil rights and liberties of all Wisconsin residents. For more on the ACLU of Wisconsin, visit our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @ACLUofWisconsin and @ACLUMadison.