MARRIAGE NEWS WATCH

Wisconsin Puts The Breaks On Issuing Marriage Licenses

wisconsinh.jpgWell, that was fun while it lasted: Wisconsin is putting the breaks on marriage licenses for now. For the last week-ish, couples have been able to get married thanks to a federal judge overturning the state’s marriage ban. Of course, antigay politicians have now appealed the ruling, and that means the weddings must stop for a while.

We’ve been here before, of course. In Utah, couples were able to marry for a few weeks around Christmas. There, as in Wisconsin, some politicians have been particularly evil about denying marriage: they’re insisting that the licenses the state issued aren’t valid. The ACLU has been fighting them to ensure that the couples are protected, so expect lots more litigation in Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, we have yet more lawsuits around the country: a new one in North Dakota, another in Alabama, and one more in Michigan. A few decades ago, the US Supreme Court refused to hear a marriage equality case “for want of a substantial federal question.” That’s certainly not the case anymore.

There’s also been an interesting slowing-down of cases in the Fourth Circuit. With a ruling in AFER’s Virginia case due any day now, litigants in North Carolina and West Virginia are asking lower courts to hold off on issuing any rulings until the court of appeals weighs in.