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Wisconsin Judge Tells Same-Sex Couples To Hold On

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(credit: CBS) Bill Hudson
Bill Hudson has been with WCCO-TV since 1989. The native of Elk Rive...
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MADISON, Wis. (WCCO) – In the St. Croix County Clerk’s Office, same sex couples are being told to wait a bit longer. Many are showing up at clerk’s offices around the state to apply for marriage licenses.

On Friday, a ruling by District Judge Barbara Crabb overturned Wisconsin’s ban against gay marriage. On Monday she made it clear that her ruling was merely a declaratory judgment and is still in need of a court injunction.

“This train has left the station,” Wanda Brown reacted.

When Crabb struck down the state’s 2006 constitutional amendment, it prompted an immediate rush for marriage licenses at county clerk’s offices in Dane and Milwaukee counties. Nearly 300 licenses were issued there and elsewhere across the state.

“It really blindsided us. We had no idea things were moving at that speed,” commented Brown’s wife, Phyllis Goldin.

Brown and Goldin are watching the legal developments closely. The couple was married in Canada 10 years ago after spending 30 years together. However, they now live in Wisconsin and their legal marriage isn’t recognized.

“My wife whom I’ve lived with and committed my life to for 40 years is not considered my next of kin in Wisconsin, which is insane,” Brown said.

Wisconsin’s Attorney General, J.B. Van Hollen told the court, “a stay is necessary in this case to avoid confusion and to maintain the status quo while the Seventh Circuit decides how Wisconsin and other states may define the civil institution of marriage.”

Brown and Goldin say it’s just a matter of time, before the rights of all same sex couples, nationwide, are recognized

“My gut has been in a knot a long time waiting for this to change,” Goldin said.

Another hearing is set before Crabb next Monday. It’s a deadline of sorts for the American Civil Liberties Union to define its original challenge of the ban and help frame what an injunction should include.

For those who were married over the weekend, they are currently in limbo under Wisconsin law, but they won’t have to wait that long. Once Crabb issues her expected injunction, they will be recognized as legal.

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