March 6, 2014
A bit of brief but significant news out of Wisconsin, via the AP:
A federal judge has asked the American Civil Liberties Union to reconsider its request to temporarily block Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban.
The American Civil Liberties Union wants U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb to issue a temporary order nullifying the ban while she weighs the organization’s lawsuit challenging it.
Crabb said Tuesday a number of federal courts have stayed such temporary orders in similar gay marriage lawsuits. She said it would serve little purpose to issue an order just to stay it.
She said ACLU attorneys have until next Tuesday to file a brief persuading her that the injunction would be appropriate in light of the other cases and whether an expedited court schedule would serve the same purpose.
ACLU attorney John Knight the organization will file the brief by the deadline.
Earlier this month, we reported that the ACLU of Wisconsin and the national ACLU had filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on marriage equality and the penalties it levies on couples seeking to wed elsewhere. Wisconsin is the only state with such penalties (called a ‘marriage evasion law’), which can include punishments of up to $10,000 in fines and nine months in prison.
Wisconsin currently allows same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships which provide limited legal rights. The 2006 constitutional amendment which banned marriage equality in the state also banned any “legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals.”