Wisconsin's Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen has asked the Seventh Circuit for an immediate stay of Judge Crabb's ruling striking down Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban. The stay would halt the issuance of marriage licences to same-sex couples which is still occurring in some counties in the state. Van Hollen also filed a notice of appeal of the ruling.
In addition, Judge Crabb will hold a meeting today at 1PM to discuss issuing a stay to halt same-sex marriages.
Several county clerks in Wisconsin have been issuing marriage licenses since the ban was struck down on Friday by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, but other county clerks say they are waiting for clarification from the state. Van Hollen has said county clerks were wrong to start issuing same-sex marriage licenses because Crabb's ruling signaled that she did not intend to order them to do so for at least two weeks. If the judge had wanted gay marriages to start immediately, she could have issued an order with her Friday ruling, Van Hollen said in a court filing. Crabb is expected to have a 1 p.m. conference today with the parties in the case, which might also lead to a ruling from her on whether or not she'll stay Friday's decision.This is not unexpected, however it is disappointing that state officials refuse to accept the inevitable and allow same-sex marriages to move forward in the state. The Seventh Circuit will likely issue a stay if Judge Crabb doesn't, and then those same-sex married couples in Wisconsin will be in somewhat of a state of limbo (like those in Utah).
Wisconsin (US) Rep. Mark Pocan has issued a statement as well:
So far, at least 11 county clerks among Wisconsin's 72 counties are issuing gay marriage licenses and at least 13 are not.
Rock County officials announced Sunday that the county clerk will issue marriage licenses Monday to all qualified couples, joining clerks in Milwaukee and Dane counties. Between Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, 283 same-sex couples in Wisconsin's two largest cities obtained marriage licenses — 146 in Milwaukee and 137 in Madison.
Kenosha and Waukesha Counties were also issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Monday.
Waukesha County Clerk Kathleen Novack said she saw six same-sex couples waiting for her office to open when she arrived about 7:45 a.m. Monday. By 9:30 a.m., three same-sex couples had received marriage licenses with about a dozen more interested in applying, she said.Same-sex couples lined up in other counties in Wisconsin early Monday, only to be turned away — at first. In Outagamie and Brown counties, officials refused to issue the licenses to three same-sex couples who applied for marriage licenses early Monday, but then reversed course based on the federal judge's ruling, Post-Crescent Media reported.
In Outagamie County, however, the clerk's office has said it will not waive the five-day waiting period for issuing the licenses, according to Post-Crescent Media.Racine, Ozaukee, Washington and La Crosse counties were not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Monday, with officials there saying they were waiting for further guidance from the state or courts.
In a Minnesota Public Radio interview, La Crosse County Clerk Ginny Dankmeyer said she said she turned one couple away Monday morning and her staff fielded about 20 calls on the issue in the first 30 minutes the office was open. Dankmeyer told MPR she wants to issue the licenses but wants to make sure they hold up."When we do issue them, we want them to be legal," she said.
After couples get married, they submit marriage certificates to the county register of deeds, which then files them with the vital records office of the state Department of Health Services.
That state agency has not yet received any marriage certificates from same-sex couples. When it does, officials there will seek advice from the attorney general on what to do with them, said department spokeswoman Jennifer Miller.
Judge Crabb has refused to issue the stay requested by the state.
Judge refuses to issue a stay against her order that #Wisconsin same-sex ban is unconstitutional. 'No changes' she said. Updating..— WISN 12 News (@WISN12News) June 9, 2014
Update | 1:46 p.m.: Judge Barbara Crabb, in her first remarks on her Friday ruling tossing out Wisconsin's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, declined to issue a stay of the decision Monday but said she does not condone the wave of marriages that followed.
Crabb said her ruling was a declaratory judgment, not an injunction. That means that she found the amendment unconstitutional but has not immediately barred its enforcement. Instead, she has ordered both sides to prepare briefs on how an injunction should be framed.
She said the marriages conducted in Dane and Milwaukee counties over the weekend, and in other counties Monday, should not be going forward.
12:51 PM PT: Another hearing is scheduled on June 19, 2014 before Judge Crabb.
More from jsonline:
Three days after her historic ruling striking down the state's same-sex marriage ban, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb indicated Monday afternoon that in the coming days either she or a federal court is likely to grant a stay of her Friday ruling, which would block county officials around the state from issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples while her decision from Friday is appealed.
But Crabb said she was leaving the "status quo" in place for now because she wanted to hear more from the two sides in the case on the implications of a stay before deciding on it. She set her next hearing for June 19.
"I will consider a stay as to what's in the (final order,) but I'm not going to act today," Crabb said at the hastily called hearing.
Crabb's comments effectively mean that for now the state will remain divided into counties such as Dane, Milwaukee and Waukesha, where clerks are issuing same-sex marriage licenses, and counties such as Ozaukee, Washington and Racine, where they are not.
When asked by state attorneys Monday about that inconsistency among counties, Crabb said that was an issue for state courts to decide if needed, not her. She said that, though she had struck down the marriage ban, she had given no orders on it so far to state and local officials in Wisconsin, so she had nothing to halt.
"They did not act because I told them they could," Crabb said of county officials. "That hasn't been decided."