ACLU to judge: Lift Wisconsin gay marriage stay

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The American Civil Liberties Union wants a federal judge to lift a stay on gay marriages in Wisconsin.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb declared Wisconsin's gay marriage ban unconstitutional in an ACLU lawsuit June 6.

Crabb issued an injunction a week later barring clerks from enforcing the ban but granted Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's request for a stay pending appeal.

The ACLU filed a motion Thursday to lift the stay, arguing Van Hollen has had weeks to file notice of an appeal but has done nothing in hopes of delaying a ruling as long as possible. The motion was referred to U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker.

Van Hollen has until July 21 to file notice under court rules. His spokeswoman says the ACLU's impatience won't affect his timing.
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (ACLU WISCONSIN NEWS RELEASE) -- Attorneys for the ACLU filed a motion asking Judge Barbara Crabb to vacate the stay she entered and allow marriages for same-sex couples to continue until the state appeals or decides an appeal is futile.

On June 6, Crabb issued an opinion striking down Wisconsin’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. She also ordered that out-of-state marriages should be recognized. Governor Walker and the Attorney General sought a stay before that decision was issued, in the event the court ruled against them.

After County Clerks began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the Attorney General requested an emergency stay. On June 13, Judge Crabb issued a stay preventing the ruling from going into effect after the state indicated it would appeal. The state has 30 days from the date the judgment was entered to appeal, but it has not yet done so, leaving same-sex couples in the state in legal limbo.

“Obviously we'd all rather see Attorney General Van Hollen and Governor Walker not appeal,” said ACLU of Wisconsin Legal Director, Larry Dupuis. “And the only reason Judge Crabb stayed her ruling was to allow for such an appeal. Having delayed taking an appeal and even moving to dismiss his existing appeal, we believe the court should vacate the stay until such time as the Attorney General files a notice of appeal.”

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