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Gay Marriage may be legalised in Wisconsin
(Blogmensgo, Gay blog, 13th June 2014) In a decision dated June 6th, 2014, Federal Judge Barbara B. Crabb held that the ban on gay marriage in Wisconsin is contrary to the US Constitution. Dozens of gay and lesbian couples had the time to get marriage before the Judge Crabb decides on a possible stay of execution.
Decision of June 6th 2014 text (Official) : ditto (Unofficial)
(At the time of this writing, gay marriage is considered unconstitutional in Wisconsin, but it has not yet rules on the application for a stay of execution on the unconstitutionality. Where the legal uncertainty as he reflected below.)
The decision of the Judge concluded, after 88 pages, Article XIII Section 13 is contrary to the 14th amendment of the Federal Constitution and that any provision that “limits marriages to a man ‘and’ woman is unconstitutional for couples of the same sex”
Federal courts have been seized in February 2013 by the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented five lesbian couples (Including Virginia Wolf) and three gay couples. As in other states the plaintiffs argued that the ban on gay marriage in Wisconsin by the 2006 constitutional referendum is contrary to the equal treatment of all citizens stipulated by the Federal Constitution. PACS has been in some form since 2009, but its legality seems uncertain and the Republican Governor Scott Walker is resolutely hostile.
(The Wisconsin PACS encountered a meagre success since 2009, it concerns a few hundred couples in the county Outagamie and about 70 gay couples in Winnebago.)
JB Van Hollen, Minister of Justice of Wisconsin, immediately appealed the decision referred to the federal court. The Judge Crabb denied a stay of execution on June 9th because his claim was not substantiated by concrete evidence. As stated in its conclusions of June 6th, the judge reconvened all parts on June 16th, applicants are asked to identify each of a very detailed scope of their requests.
7th court of appeals in Chicago has however commissioned a panel of three judges to rule on the application for stay of execution. The panel had to decide on the evening of June 11th, but the audience seems to have postponed or cancelled. The judge Crabb has indeed himself will decided today on Friday, June 13th at 1300hrs local time, on a possible stay of execution in respect of the request made in the first instance on behalf of the Wisconsin governor and the Minister of Justices ban on gay marriage in Wisconsin if it is truly unconstitutional, but two things we do not know yet if the unconstitutionality will be frozen until the court hears appeals on their individual merits, and if (in the absence of a stay of execution) marriages registered during this period are consistent with the law or illegal.
Because in the meantime, hundreds of gay and lesbian couples could marry in Wisconsin, including 300 in the two counties of Milwaukee and Dane. Of the 72 counties that make up the state, 52 counties have issued marriage licenses without waiting for the hearing on the stay of execution.
Some offices chose and provide marriage licenses and close more lately than usual to respond to the influx of applications. Others chose not to allow homosexuals to marry before the final decision has been made. Wisconsin law provides in effect to any registrar with the right to postpone for five days – without justification – issuing of a marriage license.
The governor ordered social services to ratify no license for gay marriage to be passed by the registry offices as the federal court has not ruled on the appeal. June 12th the management of social services decided not to give any instructions to the officers of civil status, leaving each act according to his conscience or his legal interpretation, while opting for validation (temporary?) records that they transmit to the registry offices.
Comment: For some reason, many official websites of Wisconsin – including those in government, the governor and the federal court in Madison – have been unavailable for several days. Deliberate? Technical Problem? Only the site of the court was back in service yesterday as well as the campaign site of Scott Walker, the latter avoiding any reference to the proceedings.
This article has been translated from our French blog. To view the original, click here.