Federal Judge Issues Stay On Order Ending Gay Marriage Ban

Barbara Crabb Says She Was Reluctant To Issue Stay

The ruling will put an end temporarily to marriage licenses being issued to same-sex couples in Wisconsin. Photo: Guillaume Paumier (CC-BY).

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb issued a final order on Friday afternoon that strikes down Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage, but she also put a stay on that order pending appeal.

The stay means that no more marriage licenses will be issued to same-sex couples in the state until the appeals process runs its course. It’s unclear what the stay means for the same-sex couples who have already gotten married since Crabb’s initial ruling last Friday.

In the order, Crabb wrote that she was reluctant to issue the stay:

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“After seeing the expressions of joy on the faces of so many newly wedded couples featured in media reports, I find it difficult to impose a stay on the event that is responsible for eliciting that emotion, even if the stay is only temporary. Same-sex couples have waited many years to receive equal treatment under the law, so it is understandable that they do not want to wait any longer.”

Nevertheless, she wrote, it was necessary given that the U.S. Supreme Court has already granted a stay in a similar case.

In the order, Crabb enjoined Gov. Scott Walker to direct all state employees to not only give equal treatment to same-sex couples with respect to marriage licensing, but to also give them equal treatment when “determining the rights, protections, obligations or benefits of marriage.”