**Updated 1 p.m.
Same-sex couples can now apply for marriage licenses in Racine County. Thanks to a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, gay marriages in Wisconsin are now legal and binding and can continue.
The Supreme Court of the United States has rejected appeals from five states, including Wisconsin, which clears the way for gay couples who want to marry and confirms the legality of couples who married earlier this summer, according to a story from the Associated Press.
Lower courts ruled the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, and the appellate court agreed. State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen appealed those decisions to the nation’s high court, but justices rejected it Monday.
Racine County Clerk Wendy Christensen told The Journal Times that as long as same-sex couples have the required documentation – just like heterosexual couples – they can receive a license.
“As long as they’re coming with the proper documentation we will be accepting applications,” she is quoted as saying.
After the high court’s decision was made public, Van Hollen issued a statement urging clerks to work within the letter of the new law.
“I encourage everyone to respect the Court’s action and to administer the law fairly and impartially. Once the District Court formally lifts the stay, officials must apply the marriage law consistent with the District Court’s order and the Seventh Circuit’s decision,” he wrote. “Among other things, the District Court order requires all state actors to ‘treat same-sex couples the same as different-sex couples in the context of processing a marriage license or determining the rights, protections, obligations or benefits of marriage.’”
Appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin were included in the Court’s rejection, which did not include any comment.
Justices have not addressed the issue of gay marriage on a national level.
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