Federal judge overturns Wisconsin gay marriage ban

By Kyle Johnson,

Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage was struck down on Friday by a federal judge who ruled it was unconstitutional.

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union for eight gay couples, saying that the state's ban was unconstitutional because it violated their right to equal protection and due process, reports The Associated Press.

While U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb sided with the couples, her decision did not note whether or not the state must immediately begin allowing gay marriage, leaving county clerks confused and unsure what to do.

Still, some county clerks' offices should be prepared for when they have an answer, since Dane County and Milwaukee County clerks were training staff for just such an eventuality back in May.

Wisconsin is now the 27th state where gay marriage is now either legal, or the law was struck down.

Earlier in the day, lawsuits were filed in North Dakota over gay marriage, making it the final state to have their marriage ban challenged, notes Businessweek. One couple is suing to have the ban struck down, while six others want the state to recognize their legally performed out-of-state marriages.

State Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said in a statement, "Ultimately, only the Supreme Court can determine whether North Dakota's enactment is constitutional or not."

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