Judge halts gay marriage in Wisconsin during appeal process

By Kyle Johnson,

The federal judge who struck down Wisconsin's gay marriage halted any further marriages on Friday during the appeal process.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb granted state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen his stay, effectively ending gay marriage pending Hollen's appeal, reports The Associated Press. Since ruling the 2006 law unconstitutional last week, over 500 same-sex couples tied the knot.

Crabb noted she wasn't enthused about suspending her ruling, but said that she must follow in the Supreme Court's footsteps. "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," she said in her decision. "However, a federal district court is required to follow the guidance provided by the Supreme Court."

Her ruling also finally ends the confusion that came along with her initial decision last Friday. When she struck down the ban, she noted she wanted to the ACLU to specifically point out what they wanted struck down. The ACLU has until June 16 to file their response.

Since her decision came across as incomplete, county clerks were confused as to whether they could legally issue marriage licenses. Most did, while others refused. Crabb noted on Friday, "I never told them not to and I never told them to do it."

Van Hollen has threatened that district attorneys could file charges against the clerks who went ahead and issue marriage license, since it isn't their job to interpret the court's ruling.



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