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Despite the Seventh Court of Appeals ruling Thursday that Wisconsin’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, same-sex couples here still can’t get married, but they are one step closer.
The decision was unanimous, a story from WISN 12 News reads.
The ban was overturned in June by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, because, she wrote, it created a separate class of citizens.
“Quite simply, this case is about liberty and equality, the two cornerstones of the rights protected by the United States Constitution,” Crabb’s decision read.
Voters in 2006 approved a state constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman, but eight couples filed suit against the state, saying the ban violated their constitutional rights.
While other counties across the state issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Racine County took a more cautious approach. County Clerk Wendy Christensen said then that she was waiting for more direction from the court until she and her staff would issue licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen on Thursday reiterated that Crabb’s stay remains in place until the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in and that he will file an appeal on behalf of the state.
“The stay issued by U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb on June 13, 2014, remains in effect. This means that Article XIII, Sec. 13 of the Wisconsin Constitution limiting marriage to between one man and one woman as well as all other related state laws are in full force and effect until this case is finally resolved by the United States Supreme Court. The status quo has not changed with today’s ruling. The state defendants will file their appeal petition with the United States Supreme Court in a timely manner,” the statement reads.
The majority of Racine County Eye readers who commented on the site’s Facebook page approve of this latest decision.
Mike Fischer said, “Glad to see it. I look forward to a similar Supreme Court ruling in the next session.”
Kelly Gonzalez commented that gay marriage shouldn’t be so controversial.
“It’s about time! I’m thrilled I never much understood why it was such a big deal, if they want to marry someone they should be able to period,” she posted.
Scot Bartels took a more pragmatic approach, reminding everyone that SCOTUS will have the final say even though he believes state residents should be the ones to decide.
“Before everyone gets all excited remember that this will eventually reach the US Supreme Court,” he wrote. “I disagree with the idea that our ban is somehow unconstitutional … If you want to make same sex marriages legal in this state I would be fine with that. I just do not want to see it happen via judicial fiat.”