Gay Marriage

Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin Gay Marriage Recognition Ban


Wisconsin wedding cakes
infowidget / photo on flickr

Add Wisconsin to the states where a federal judge has struck down a ban on gay marriage recognition. Judge Barbara Crabb has ruled that the constitutional amendment in Wisconsin outlawing gay marriage recognition "violates planitiffs' fundamental right to marry and their right to equal protection of laws under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution."

ABC affiliate WISN has the whole 88-page ruling posted here. She notes in her conclusion:

In light of Windsor and the many decisions that have invalidated restrictions on same-sex marriage since Windsor, it appears that courts are moving toward a consensus that it is time to embrace full legal equality for gay and lesbian citizens. Perhaps it is no coincidence that these decisions are coming at a time when public opinion is moving quickly in the direction of support for same-sex marriage. …

Citing these changing public attitudes, defendants seem to suggest that this case is not necessary because a majority of Wisconsin citizens will soon favor same-sex marriage, if they do not already … (citing article by Nate Silver predicting that 64% of Wisconsinites will favor same-sex marriage by 2020). Perhaps it is true that the Wisconsin legislature and voters would choose to repeal the marriage amendment and amend the statutory marriage laws to be inclusive of same-sex couples at some point in the future. Perhaps it is also true that, if the courts had refused to act in the 1950s and 1960s, eventually all states would have voted to end segregation and repeal anti-miscegenation laws. Regardless, a district court may not abstain from deciding a case because of a possibility that the issues raised in the case could be resolved in some other way at some other time.

The judge has given both sides 10 days to respond to the ruling so it doesn't seem as though the weddings are going to be happening immediately. Wedding cakes in Wisconsin are made out of big cheese wheels, right? So bakers with religious objections to gay marriage shouldn't be a problem.

UPDATE: Couples are indeed marrying, but the state is seeking a stay on the order striking down the ban.