A federal judge will not stay her ruling that overturned Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban.
Judge Barbara Crabb held a hearing Monday on a request from the Department of Justice to issue an emergency order, aimed at keeping county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. Crabb on Friday struck down the state’s gay marriage ban, but gave the American Civil Liberties until June 16 to file a request for how to proceed. The ACLU is representing the eight gay couples who sued in federal court to overturn the ban adopted by voters in 2006 as a constitutional amendment.
Crabb says her ruling from Friday was a declaratory judgment, not an injunction. As a result, she has not blocked the state from enforcing the amendment. She also gave no indication that clerks could issue marriage licenses either, a fact that she pointed out during Monday’s hearing.
Attorney General Van Hollen says he wants a stay issued immediately because it’s needed to prevent confusion over Wisconsin’s marriage laws. Over a dozen county clerks have started issuing marriage licenses, and Van Hollen says continuing to allow that could create confusion later on for many same sex couples. “There are a lot of people who are very joyful, who are very passionate about this issue…but may not have taken time to step back and think about what legal ramifications this may have on them.”
Van Hollen on Monday morning also filed a appeal with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which he hopes will act quickly now that Crabb has indicated she will not issue a decision in the case soon. However, he also restated that Crabb’s statements show “Wisconsin’s marriage law is in full force and effect, and all state and local officials are under a continuing duty to follow Wisconsin’s marriage law unless and until the court enjoins that law.”