Federal Judge in Wisconsin Stays Week-Old Ruling Striking Down Gay Marriage Ban Pending Appeal

A federal judge in Wisconsin last night issued a final ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban, then immediately put that ruling on hold, effectively stopping the state's counties from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples while the case is appealed to the Circuit Court, the Journal Sentinel reports:

CrabbThe 14-page order from U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb in Madison halted the same-sex weddings taking place in most of the state and set up an appeal by the state to the federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. The judge gave no indication whether the hundreds of same-sex marriages already performed will hold up in court.

She said that if left to her own judgment, she would not have stayed her order and would have allowed same-sex marriages to go forward. But she said she felt compelled to halt them because of how the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts have acted in similar cases.

Wrote Crabb in the order:

"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."

Read the order HERE.