In another win for marriage equity advocates, U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb barred enforcement of Wisconsin gay marriage bans declaring the bans an unconstitutional infringement of citizens' rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Judge Crabb stayed the order until the federal appellate courts make a final decision or until the expiration of the deadline for filing an appeal.
"The injunction and the declaration shall take effect after the conclusion of any appeals or after the expiration of the deadline for filing an appeal, whichever is later. The clerk of court is directed to enter judgment in favor of plaintiffs and close this case."
Judge Crabb's 14-page ruling in Wolf v. Walker can be found here. (Wisconsin State Journal)
Crabb expressed sympathy for Wisconsin couples who have to wait for their rights to be adjudicated in the appellate courts before being realized.
Writes Crabb: "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. However, a federal district court is required to follow the guidance provided by the Supreme Court."
Wolf v. Walker and other federal cases are expected to move comparatively quickly through the federal appellate court system and a landmark ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court could come as early at the next term beginning in October.
As expected the anti-gay Wisconsin attorney general, J.B. Van Hollen, takes a hostile stand against gay marriage, and spins Judge Crabb's decision, refusing to acknowledge that the stay is temporary and procedural, and the merits of the challenge to Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage have been deliberated, declared to be unconstitutional and enjoined, pending a final decision in the appellate courts.