US: Wisconsin Attorney General seeks emergency stay to stop same-sex marriages

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The Attorney General in the US state of Wisconsin has asked for an emergency stay to be put in place to stop gay and lesbian couples from marrying in the state.

Not long after US District Judge Barbara Crabb struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban on Friday, and did not stay her own ruling, allowing couples to marry immediately, Attorney General J B Van Hollen requested an emergency stay.

Judge Crabb said gay couples “are entitled to the same treatment as any heterosexual couple.”

Some counties began marrying same-sex couples immediately, and at least two, Milwaukee and Dane counties, kept their county clerk offices open late to allow gay and lesbian couples to do so.

Couples were allowed to pay to waive the five-day waiting period, and some had already married.

Van Hollen vowed to file emergency motions in order to have Friday’s ruling put on hold.

“While today’s decision is a setback, we’ll continue to defend the constitutionality of our traditional marriage laws and the constitutional amendment, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters,” Van Hollen said. “I will appeal.”

The Attorney General last week made an unusual request for a federal judge to stay any ruling she may make to strike down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.