The number of Wisconsin counties
issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian coupes continued to grow
on Tuesday, despite a federal judge saying they did not have to.
Only the state's two most liberal
counties – Dane, which includes Madison, and Milwaukee – issued
marriage licenses over the weekend after U.S. District Judge Barbara
Crabb on Friday declared invalid Wisconsin's 2006 voter-approved
constitutional amendment prohibiting state officials from recognizing
any union other than a heterosexual marriage.
On Monday, Crabb refused to stay her
ruling, adding that she had not ordered the state to begin issuing
licenses to gay couples. She had given the ACLU, which is
representing the 8 plaintiff couples in the challenge, until June 16
to tell her what parts of the law it wants her to block. That is,
she declared the amendment to be unconstitutional but did not
prohibit its enforcement, leaving counties to decide for themselves
whether to begin issuing licenses.
According to the AP, 49 out of the
state's 72 counties as of Tuesday were issuing marriage licenses to
gay couples, though some had opted against waiving the state's 5-day
Republican Attorney General J.B. Van
Hollen on Monday asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals in Chicago to stay the ruling. The appeals court could act
as early as Wednesday.