In an apparent reversal of earlier action, a state office is now accepting marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in Wisconsin. As of Tuesday, clerks in 50 of the state’s 72 counties were processing applications from same-sex couples, following Friday’s decision overturning Wisconsin’s constitutional prohibitions on same-sex unions. The state vital records office said those licenses were not being registered. But spokeswoman Stephanie Smiley sent a statement on Tuesday night:
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services Office of Vital Records will fulfill all administrative duties required with regard to registering vital records. Once there is an ultimate decision made on this issue, the responsibility will be on individuals to make any necessary changes to their record. The Office is processing the licenses.
On Wednesday, the judge who struck down Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriages has set a Friday hearing to hear arguments on what she should order state officials to do next. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb on Wednesday set the hearing for 1 p.m. on Friday. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a proposed order that would require state officials to let gay couples marry and to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen objected Wednesday, saying the ACLU’s request was too broad. But Van Hollen also asked Crabb to act quickly. Van Hollen also reiterated his request to Crabb that she put her ruling on hold pending his planned appeal, a move that would put an end to gay marriages in the state for now.