Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says his office defended the state’s gay marriage ban in court, and now the state has an “obligation to comply with those court decisions.”
Van Hollen’s office had appealed a lower court decision that overturned Wisconsin’s 2006 state constitutional amendment to the Supreme Court, after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals last month upheld the ruling from District Judge Barbara Crabb. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied the state’s petition in the case, effectively allowing the lower court rulings to stand.
In a statement, Van Hollen said “I encourage everyone to respect the Court’s action and to administer the law fairly and impartially. Once the District Court formally lifts the stay, officials must apply the marriage law consistent with the District Court’s order and the Seventh Circuit’s decision.”
Van Hollen noted that the District Court order requires all state actors to “treat same-sex couples the same as different-sex couples in the context of processing a marriage license or determining the rights, protections, obligations or benefits of marriage.”
Several county clerks across the state moved quickly Monday to begin issuing licenses. Both Milwaukee and Dane counties were among the first to say they would issue licenses in their offices.