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Federal Judge STRIKES DOWN Wisconsin Ban On Same-Sex Marriage, Notes Windsor Case 12x’s

 

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U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb today struck down the discriminatory amendment to the Wisconsin state constitution preventing same-sex couples from marrying. The American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the law on behalf of eight couples seeking the freedom to marry in Wisconsin or to have their out-of-state marriages recognized. Two of the plaintiffs, Kami Young and Karina Willes of West Milwaukee, were legally married last year in Minnesota and have a newborn daughter. But because Young is the birth mother, she is the only one who is recognized as the legal parent on the birth certificate.

“Our daughter has two parents who love her dearly,” said Willes. “I am no less a mother to her than Kami is, and she deserves the security of having both of her parents legally recognized. Our daughter shouldn’t have second-class protections.” “We are tremendously happy that these loving and committed couples will now be able to access the security and recognition that only marriage provides,” said Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin. “These discriminatory laws are falling around the country and it is only right that Wisconsin move forward as well.

Part of Friday’s ruling reads: “It is DECLARED that art. XIII, § 13 of the Wisconsin Constitution violates plaintiffs’ fundamental right to marry and their right to equal protection of laws under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Judge Crabb referenced SCOTUS’ decisions in the WINDSOR ruling (not the Prop 8 Case) 12 times in her decision.

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), a co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, today issued the following statement on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin’s ruling that Wisconsin’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional: “The federal district court in Madison took another step toward ensuring full equality for every American. It is clear the growing momentum of support for marriage equality will put an end to discriminatory laws that treat LGBT couples as second-class citizens. In ruling after ruling, it has become unmistakable that the promise of America is everyone should be treated equally and with dignity. Today’s ruling brings us one step closer to fulfilling that promise.” 

Meanwhile, County clerks in Milwaukee and Madison are trying to figure out if and when they could begin issuing marriage licenses. Milwaukee County Clerk Joe Czarnezki said he was keeping his office open while an attorney reviewed the decision in case he could begin accepting marriage licenses Friday evening.

Judge Crabb referenced SCOTUS’ decisions in the WINDSOR ruling (not the Prop 8 Case) 12 times in her decision.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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