US: ACLU seeks recognition of Wisconsin same-sex marriages

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Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit seeking recognition of a group of Wisconsin same-sex marriages that were conducted while the state’s same-sex marriage ban was temporarily blocked.

ACLU previously filed a suit against Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriages. In June, Judge Barbara Crabb found the ban to be unconstitutional, but stayed her decision to await an appeal.

More than 500 Wisconsin couples obtained marriage licenses between the time of Crabb’s ruling and the stay.

State Attorney General J B Van Hollen said that Crabbs’s ruling did not give county clerks permission to issue marriage licenses, and that those  marriages do not have legal certainty.

Van Hollen also stated that county clerks could be prosecuted for issuing those licenses.

In a statement, ACLU lawyer Larry Dupuis said that these marriages were valid, and that the state cannot take that away from their clients.

He said: “Our clients have married in Wisconsin and that isn’t something the State can take away from them or refuse to recognize. The State of Wisconsin has placed hundreds of same-sex couples, including our clients, in an untenable position of not knowing if their marriages will be respected and recognized or simply ignored.”

Earlier this month the US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Crabb’s ruling.

Wisconsin recently joined 31 other states who are seeking a final decision on marriage equality from the Supreme Court.