US: Federal appeals court asks for briefs from both sides of Wisconsin gay marriage debate

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A federal appeals court asked by the state of Wisconsin to stop clerks from issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples, may not rule until at least Wednesday, as the court has asked for plaintiffs and defendants for briefs in the case.

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.

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

The court on Monday gave the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the state until 5pm on Wednesday to file briefs on whether the court has jurisdiction in the case.

The Attorney General issued a statement saying: “The US Supreme Court will almost certainly decide this important issue once and for all during its next term. There is absolutely no reason to allow Wisconsin’s county clerks to decide for themselves, on a county-by-county basis, who may and may not lawfully get married in this state.”

Judge Crabb earlier today said she would not issue a stay just yet, and left the decision of whether to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples, up to individual county offices.