There are now 52 counties issuing same-sex marriage licenses in Wisconsin, with some county clerks still waiting until the legal landscape is clearer to issue licenses.
Winnebago County Clerk Sue Ertmer says she has not issued licenses because of the legal uncertainty and is waiting to see what decision U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb issues. Wisconsin's Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen and the American Civil Liberties Union faced deadlines on Wednesday to argue for and against the constitutional ban on gay marriage.
“(On Wednesday) there's the deadline for them to file briefs and so we know there's a pending hearing,” said Ertmer. “We wanted to wait to see if there's going to be any decision made on that. We thought we'd give 24 hours. If there's nothing that comes out of that then that's why we're going to go ahead and do it right away Friday morning.”
Some couples don't want to wait until Friday. A small group is staging a sit-in outside the Winnebago County Clerk's Office and even brought flowers to give to Ertmer. The sit-in was organized by the Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
“One couple was there all day (Tuesday) and tried again (Wednesday) morning and will be there, at least one of them, most of the day (Wednesday),” said Reverend Roger Bertschausen, the church's senior minister. “I also had a couple in my congregation that was refused both on Monday and Tuesday.”
The state's Office of Vital Records is now processing the county-issued licenses.