Moments ago, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb struck down Wisconsin’s constitutional amendment denying caring and committed same-sex couples the freedom to marry, in a decision that allows marriage licenses to be issued immediately.

Fair Wisconsin President & CEO, Katie Belanger, has issued the following statement in response to this historic decision:

“Words cannot express what this means for Wisconsinites who have waited so long – and might not have thought this day would come this soon.

“We are celebrating this joyous and historic day, and encourage the Governor and Attorney General not to appeal this decision to allow all couples the freedom to marry.  Marriage matters to LGBT families and we know that love will prevail as this case is appealed.

“We are grateful to the plaintiff couples that put their personal stories before the court and made this day possible.  We also are very grateful to the plaintiff couples that have defended the state’s domestic partnership registry for the last five years, providing limited but critical protections to families in times of need, in the absence of the full recognition and protections of marriage.

“The order will take effect immediately, which means that marriage licenses will be available very soon.  Fair Wisconsin has created a quick reference guide for those who wish to join marriage right away, including those who may have a registered domestic partnership in Wisconsin.

“Even as we move forward in celebration, there is still so much more work to do to protect the entire lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from discrimination based on gender identity and expression.  Even if gay and lesbian couples can be married tomorrow, our trans* friends and family can still be fired, evicted, or turned away from public places simply because of who they are.  Fair Wisconsin will not stop our efforts to end this discrimination, for a single moment.”