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NEW INFORMATION: Local same-sex marriage supporter reacts to federal ruling

By: Andrew Fefer and AP Email
By: Andrew Fefer and AP Email

MADISON - Democratic Candidate for Governor Mary Burke released the following statement today, following Judge Crabb's ruling on Wisconsin's gay marriage ban.

"Today is a great day for Wisconsin and committed couples who love each other across the state. Every loving couple should have the freedom to marry whomever they choose, and the fact that this freedom is now available in Wisconsin is something we all can and should be proud of."

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- An Eau Claire woman says Friday's decision to strike down the state's ban on same-sex marriages has been a long time coming.

Virginia Wolf of Eau Claire spoke with WEAU 13 News about a half-hour after receiving a phone call from the American Civil Liberties Union with the news. Her name appears on the lawsuit that led to the ruling. She says she understands that this is a step in a process, but that she firmly believes that same-sex marriage will be legalized. She calls Friday's decision wonderful.

"I was just thinking that if you have suffered under that kind of oppression and suddenly it's lifted, you know, for whatever reason that that might be, you know, I think...that's kind of the feeling," Wolf said of today's ruling.

Supporters plan to celebrate Friday's federal court decision at The Plus in Eau Claire Saturday afternoon.
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Two women have gotten married in Wisconsin after a federal judge struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

Renee Currie and Shari Roll, both of Madison, were first in line at the county courthouse in Madison minutes after U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb issued her ruling striking down the law. They were married on the street just a block from the Capitol.

Clerks in Madison and Milwaukee began issuing marriage licenses even though there was confusion over whether Crabb's ruling allowed for that to happen immediately.

Roll says she was shaking and the whole thing felt like a dream. Currie says she was elated and proud of Wisconsin.
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (AP) -- Couples who are part of a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's gay marriage ban are reacting joyfully to a judge's order striking down the ban.

Garth Wangemann, 58, and Roy Badger, 56, got the news Friday afternoon in Milwaukee, where they were among people gathering for the opening of PrideFest. Wangemann was to give a speech about the lawsuit at the festival, and says he's happy he'll have to rewrite it.

Wangemann and Badger say they're eager to get married but weren't planning to rush to the county courthouse. They say they're just going to celebrate until confusion is cleared up over how soon marriages can begin.

Wangemann says they have hoped for a day when all young people can take for granted that they can marry the person they love.
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A federal judge has struck down Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage, ruling it unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb issued the ruling Friday, but it wasn't clear whether same-sex marriages could immediately begin.

But the ruling makes Wisconsin the 27th state where same-sex couples can marry under law or where a judge has ruled they ought to be allowed to wed.

Clerks in the state's two largest cities of Milwaukee and Madison had been preparing for such a ruling by bringing in extra staff to handle an expected flood of marriage-license applicants.

The lawsuit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of eight same-sex couples.

Gov. Scott Walker has been a strong proponent of the constitutional same-sex marriage ban that was approved by state voters in 2006.
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MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued the following statement today in response to the ruling released today by Judge Barbara B. Crabb for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin in the matter of Wolf, et al. v. Walker, et al.

“As Attorney General, I have an obligation to uphold Wisconsin law and our Constitution. While today’s decision is a setback, we will continue to defend the constitutionality of our traditional marriage laws and the constitutional amendment, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters. I will appeal.

Importantly, current law remains in force. I am encouraged by the District Court’s refusal to issue an immediate injunction. We have seen the disruption to couples and families throughout the United States when courts have first allowed same-sex marriage only to have those marriages subsequently called into question by another court. I anticipate the United States Supreme Court will give finality to this issue in their next term.

I will continue defend our Constitution and law in whatever forum is appropriate and I would hope my successor will fulfill this same oath and obligation.”


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