The permanent injunction hearing by U.S. District Judge Barbara
Crabb could legally define whether county clerks are now allowed to
issue same-sex marriage licenses throughout state as many have been
doing already since her decision last week.
In her ruling striking down Wisconsin's 2006 ban on gay marriage,
Crabb did not say whether county clerks were allowed to issue
marriage licenses or prohibited until further rulings, leaving it up
to county clerks throughout the state to decide whether to issue
licenses or not.
According to Fair Wisconsin, an LGBT advocacy organization, 51 of
the state's 72 county clerks have issued marriage licenses to
same-sex couples since the ruling. A tally by Reuters found that
more than 500 gay couples have applied for or have been granted a
At Friday's hearing at her Madison, Wisconsin, courtroom, Crabb
could grant an injunction on the state's same-sex marriage ban, or
wait until a later time to render her decision. She could also stay
her decision, which would suspend it until future court proceedings
The hearing could also serve county clerks with more concrete legal
guidance regarding the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican, said on Thursday
county clerks who issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples over
the past week could face charges for breaking the state's marriage
[to top of second column]
Van Hollen had sought the stay from Crabb last Friday and on Monday
asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to halt gay
marriages in Wisconsin until appeals are concluded.
Not including Wisconsin, same-sex marriage is now legal in 19 states
plus the District of Columbia. That number would jump sharply if
federal court rulings striking down bans in several states are
upheld on appeal.
(Reporting By Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Sandra Maler)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.