US: Wisconsin judge to hold hearing following same-sex marriage ban strike-down

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A federal judge is to hold a hearing today, one week after she struck-down the state of Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban, during which she may temporarily stop same-sex couples from marrying.

US District Judge Barbara Crabb struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban last 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 still might.

In a hearing on Friday, those both for and against same-sex marriage will testify.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which filed the lawsuit, will argue that the state should allow all county clerks to issue marriage licences, allow gay couples to marry, and recognise the marriages of same-sex couples married in the state, and elsewhere.

Attorney General J B Van Hollen argues that Crabb’s ruling should be put on hold, to stop same-sex couples from marrying, and allow him to appeal last Friday’s ruling.

Van Hollen is attempting to stop the ruling, and applied for an emergency stay to put the ban back in place.

He directly warned the clerks issuing same-sex marriage licenses yesterday that they could be punished if they continued to do so.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell scoffed at the statement, telling the Journal-Sentinel that potential punishment “doesn’t keep me up at night”.