As expected, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen today filed a same-sex marriage notice of appeal with the Seventh Circuit Court.
Several county clerks in Wisconsin have been issuing marriage licenses since the ban was struck down on Friday by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, but other county clerks say they are waiting for clarification from the state. Van Hollen has said county clerks were wrong to start issuing same-sex marriage licenses because Crabb’s ruling signaled that she did not intend to order them to do so for at least two weeks. If the judge had wanted gay marriages to start immediately, she could have issued an order with her Friday ruling, Van Hollen said in a court filing. Crabb is expected to have a 1 p.m. conference today with the parties in the case, which might also lead to a ruling from her on whether or not she’ll stay Friday’s decision.
Marriages are continuing this morning in some counties, but others are turning gay couples away.
Clerks in several counties said they would not issue licenses until they have received directions from the Wisconsin Vital Records Office, which keeps marriage records. Jennifer Miller, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health Services, which oversees vital statistics, said it would not issue any guidance until it received directions from Van Hollen. Brown County Deputy Clerk Justin Schmit said he turned away about 15 couples in Green Bay on Monday morning, and an employee in the Racine County clerk’s office said she had too. Crabb’s decision created some confusion among clerks because she declared the ban unconstitutional but also said she wanted the American Civil Liberties Union to tell her exactly what it wanted her to block in the gay marriage law. The ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the ban in January on behalf of eight gay couples.
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