US: 45 Wisconsin counties issue marriage licences to same-sex couples

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A majority of counties in the US state of Wisconsin have issued marriage licences to gay and lesbian couples, as some wait for guidance from the state and courts on whether same-sex couples can marry.

According to reports, clerks in 45 out of 72 counties in Wisconsin have issued marriage licences to same-sex couples, while 27 have refused.

Hundreds of same-sex couples in the state have married since a District judge overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage on Friday. Some paid extra to have a five-day waiting period waived, in order to marry immediately.

US District Judge Barbara Crabb struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban on Friday, and did not stay her own ruling. Despite not specifically saying counties could begin to issue marriage licences, many did so immediately.

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. On Monday, she refused to do so, but indicated that she might still in future.

Van Hollen also appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to issue a stay in the case. 

The appeals court has given the ACLU and the state until Wednesday to file briefs around whether it is within its jurisdiction to intervene in the case.