Couples Flood Wisconsin Courthouses After Gay Marriage Ban Is Blocked

Couples in Wisconsin arrived at courthouses as early as 6 a.m. this morning for an opportunity to wed their loved ones after a federal judge struck down the ban on gay marriage. The ruling is likely to be put on hold as soon as Monday, reports say.

According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb blocked the ban on Friday afternoon and couples were already arriving at courthouses by 5 p.m. that day.

In her ruling, Crabb asked the couples who sued to describe exactly what they wanted her to block in the gay marriage law. She said she would later decide whether to put her decision on hold while it is appealed.

The ACLU had filed a lawsuit in February against the 2006 Wisconsin Constitution's outlawing of gay marriage. In the lawsuit, eight couples were named who had been "deprived of the same legal protections that opposite-sex married couples enjoy."

But the fear is that the ruling won't last.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said there is confusion and uncertainty about Crabb's ruling, and he doesn't think it actually cleared the way for same-sex marriages to proceed. He asked Cragg to issue an emergency stay halting the issuing of further marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but she hasn't done so. He is expected to petition a federal appeals court for such an order on Monday.

Crabb's statement in her ruling is a noble addition to the many beautiful statements by judges across the country who continue to block gay marriage bans.

"This case is not about whether marriages between same-sex couples are consistent or inconsistent with the teachings of a particular religion, whether such marriages are moral or immoral or whether they are something that should be encouraged or discouraged," Crabb wrote in the Wisconsin ruling. "It is not even about whether the plaintiffs in this case are as capable as opposite-sex couples of maintaining a committed and loving relationship or raising a family together.

"Quite simply, this case is about liberty and equality, the two cornerstones of the rights protected by the United States Constitution."

[Image via AP]