Federal judge strikes down Wisconsin ban on gay marriage

By Brendan O’Brien MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – A federal judge deemed Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional on Friday to the delight of gay couples who immediately began rushing to county offices to wed as word of the ruling spread. The ruling marked the latest in a string of decisions by federal judges who have struck down gay marriage bans in a number of states, although the Wisconsin ruling sparked some confusion over whether such marriages could now legally go ahead. Clerks in two counties issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Friday night, and in response Wisconsin’s attorney general filed an emergency motion asking the judge to stay her ruling. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which Wisconsin adopted in 2006, violates gay couples’ fundamental right to marry and their equal protection rights under the U.S. Constitution.

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