Many of the eight same sex couples behind the lawsuit against Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban were shocked by the abrupt end to the case Monday morning. The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal of a lower court decision that overturned the ban, effectively allowing that ruling to stand and for gay marriage to become legal in Wisconsin. Several of the couples attending a press conference in Madison were thrilled by the news, with some already hearing wedding bells.
Judi Trampf of Madison says she and her partner rushed home after hearing the news. Katy Heyning proposing a short time later. Sporting their new rings, Heyning joked “we’re interviewing wedding planners and looking for a venue, because we’re finding out it takes a long time to plan a wedding.” The couple, who have been together 25 years, said they had been waiting for the case to reach its conclusion before getting engaged.
Pam Kleiss of Madison had joyful tears thinking about the full impact of the decision on her, her partner, and their daughter. She said the ruling “allows us to be who we always thought we were — the ladies who live down the street…who go to the PTO meetings and attend sports events.”
Keith Borden of Madison said the ruling provides clarity to thousands of gay couples, allowing them to know “where they stand, how their relationships can be viewed, and how they can proceed.” Borden married Johannes Wallmann in British Columbia in 2007. They joined the lawsuit because Wisconsin did not recognize that marriage.
Monday’s ruling by the high court effectively means Wisconsin must allow gay couples to marry going forward. In a statement, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen encouraged state and local officials to “respect the Court’s action and to administer the law fairly and impartially.”