John M. Becker

ACLU Sues to Force WI to Recognize Its Own Marriages

Filed By John M. Becker | September 17, 2014 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: ACLU, gay marriage, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, Wisconsin

wisconsin-gay-rainbow.jpgThe American Civil Liberties Union sued the state of Wisconsin in federal court today on behalf of four same-sex couples who were legally married after a federal judge struck down the state's marriage discrimination amendment, but who are now in a state of legal limbo due to Wisconsin's refusal to clarify the status of those marriages.

The lawsuit seeks to compel the state to recognize all valid and legal marriages, including those of the hundreds of gay and lesbian couples who married during the brief window when same-sex marriages were legal there.

The ACLU of Wisconsin writes:

The ACLU, on behalf of their clients, is seeking the recognition of the marriages of four same-sex couples legally married in Wisconsin during the week between the District Court's decision overturning the ban on marriage for same-sex couples and her subsequent stay of that ruling.

"Our clients have married in Wisconsin and that isn't something the State can take away from them or refuse to recognize," said Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin. "The State of Wisconsin has placed hundreds of same-sex couples, including our clients, in an untenable position of not knowing if their marriages will be respected and recognized or simply ignored. Even if Judge Crabb's stay means that for a while no more same-sex couples can marry, the Constitution does not allow the State to undo or ignore the marriages that already took place."

Stacie Christian, one of the plaintiffs in the case, said, "Julie and I enjoyed one of the greatest moments of our lives the day our state granted us the same freedom to marry as any other loving couple. We made a lifetime commitment to each other 21 years ago, affirmed our marriage four years ago through our church, and again made a lifetime commitment to each other on the courthouse lawn on June 9-one that is about stability, responsibility, and building our family. We hope that those vows on June 9 will soon be as honored by our state as they are by us."

Click here to meet the four plaintiff couples.

A copy of the complaint is after the break, via Equality Case Files.

3:14-cv-00627 #1 by Equality Case Files

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