- Associated Press - Saturday, June 14, 2014
Wisconsin judge puts same-sex marriages on hold

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A federal judge on Friday put same-sex marriages in Wisconsin on hold, a week after she struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional, a move that allowed more than 500 couples to wed over the last eight days.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb’s ruling Friday means that gay marriages will end while the appeal from Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is pending. Couples who were in the middle of the five-day waiting period to get a license, which most counties waived, are caught in limbo.

Van Hollen requested Crabb put her ruling on hold, arguing that allowing the marriages while the underlying case was pending created confusion about the legality of those marriages.

In her order, Crabb expressed mixed feelings.

“After seeing the expressions of joy on the faces of so many newly wedded couples featured in media reports, I find it difficult to impose a stay on the event that is responsible for eliciting that emotion, even if the stay is only temporary,” Crabb said in her order. “Same-sex couples have waited many years to receive equal treatment under the law, so it is understandable that they do not want to wait any longer. However, a federal district court is required to follow the guidance provided by the Supreme Court.”

The ruling came exactly one week after Crabb declared the state’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. But Crabb didn’t issue any orders on how state officials were to implement her decision, and amid the uncertainty, nearly every Wisconsin county - 60 of 72 - issued licenses.

Crabb issued an order preventing clerks from denying same-sex couples marriage licenses, but then put that on hold as well as her earlier ruling striking down the law as unconstitutional.

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Gay couples disappointed in judge’s ruling

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Two Portage County residents that weren’t able to get married because their county clerk refused to grant licenses to same-sex couples are disappointed a judge halted them statewide.

Sixty of Wisconsin’s 72 county clerks had started issuing licenses after U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb struck down the law banning same-sex marriage last week. On Friday, she put that ruling on hold.

Allen Rasmussen and Keith Kitsembel tried unsuccessfully to be married in Portage County nine times since Monday. Kitsembel says they had a small window of opportunity and are very disappointed in their county clerk.

Theresa McCraw, of Stevens Point, says she’s stubborn and will be patient to legally marry the woman she married in a religious ceremony seven years ago. She’s hopeful Wisconsin will eventually join other states.

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Judge says it’s ‘difficult’ to stop gay marriages

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The federal judge who is putting a stop to gay marriages in Wisconsin says it was a difficult decision.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb on Friday put the marriages on hold after striking down the law and ordering clerks not to deny issuing the licenses.

But she says in her ruling that putting it on hold is difficult “After seeing the expressions of joy on the faces of so many newly wedded couples.”

Crabb says because the U.S. Supreme Court had put a similar ruling out of Utah on hold, she had to do that in Wisconsin.

Crabb says it is understandable that same-sex couples don’t want to wait any longer than they have to in order “to receive equal treatment under the law.”

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Disappointment, happiness over gay marriage ruling

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says he is “very pleased” that a federal judge has put on hold her ruling striking down Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriages.

Friday’s ruling means that same-sex marriage licenses can no longer be issued. County clerks had been issuing the licenses since last week, when U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb struck down the law but did not issue an order telling state officials how to proceed.

Crabb on Friday barred clerks from denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples, then put that on hold as well as her ruling striking down the law.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney John Knight says he’s disappointed with the ruling, but he was confident that marriage will be a reality for all in Wisconsin soon.

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