Wisconsin’s attorney general claims there’s no fundamental right for the state to grant marriage licenses to same sex couples.
In a 188-page filing with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen argues the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution does not require the state to give same sex couples the right to marriage. As a result, he says last month’s decision by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb against Wisconsin’s ban on gay marriage should be overturned.
Van Hollen said Crabb’s decision amounts to the creation of a new right to gay marriage, and it wrongly extends federal authority into an area normally handled by the states. He compares the issue to how the courts have handled abortion restrictions, such as cases where judges have upheld restriction on using Medicaid dollars to pay for abortions. “Although the constitutional right of privacy protects a woman’s right to obtain an abortion and precludes government from prohibiting or punishing her exercise of that right, there is no corresponding obligation on government to affirmatively endorse or
support her exercise of the abortion right.”
The appeals court is considering the Wisconsin challenge in combination with a similar decision in Indiana, which also overturned that state’s gay marriage ban. Judges are expected to hear the cases next month.