US: Wisconsin Attorney General asks federal court to halt same-sex marriages

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A federal appeals court has been asked by the Attorney General in the US state of Wisconsin to stop county clerks from issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples after the state’s same-sex marriage ban was struck down last week.

US District Judge Barbara Crabb struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban on Friday, and did not stay her own ruling, allowing same-sex couples to marry immediately.

However, Republican Attorney General J B Van Hollen asked Judge Crabb to stay her own ruling to stop gay and lesbian couples from marrying in the state.

Responding to the emergency request, Judge Crabb scheduled a 1pm hearing on Monday.

Van Hollen has also now asked the federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the ruling.

He made the filing with the court on Monday.

While she did not stay the ruling, Judge Crabb did not issue specific instructions, meaning some county clerks were unsure of how to proceed.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which filed the lawsuit on behalf of eight couples, has urged same-sex couples to continue marrying, despite fears that a marriage ban could be put back in place.