Two longtime partners joined Milwaukee's parade of recent newlyweds Wednesday afternoon, and not even a grumpy old curmudgeon trying to block their nuptials could put a damper on the courthouse ceremony.
Marriage licenses in Wisconsin have been hot commodities in the six days since a federal court struck down the's state's same-sex marriage ban, but a couple of anti-gay zealots decided to take matters in their own hands Wednesday, filing a new suit to stop the weddings and taking the chance to confront at least one happy couple, shown in the WISN video accompanying this story:
After 20 years together, teachers Kari George and Joan Fecteau brought their daughter and friends to witness their wedding.
"I always wondered if this would be possible in our lifetimes," Fecteau said.
"I wondered as I left work today, 'Do I tell my families, do I share this news?'" George said.
As they got their license, activist Bob Braun approached.
"We're filing a lawsuit against the people who are allowing you and telling them to stop doing it," Braun said.
The schoolteachers pretty much just ignored Braun, who was left blubbering to the news crew about the sheer injustice of those two old ladies getting hitched without his consent:
"We believe the county violated our civil rights by issuing these marriages licenses. When we voted eight years ago, the law was one man, one woman," Braun said.
Braun doesn't want to wait for federal litigation. He will file suit Thursday asking a Milwaukee County judge to stop the weddings.
County officials said good luck with that; the marriages will continue. And as George and Fecteau completed their vows in a courtroom with their teenage daughter looking on, one county executive pledged to pay for the cost of keeping the clerk's office open late to process all the new licenses. "It's disappointing anyone would try to stop these historic and joyful marriages," he told the TV station in a statement. "I will continue to fight for equality."