September 16, 2014

September 17, 2014

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Wisconsin, and Mayer Brown LLP filed suit in federal court on behalf of same-sex couples married in Wisconsin during the week after June 6 Bloechl-Karlsen v. Walker. This filing follows last week’s decision out of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a previous ruling by the District Court that found Wisconsin’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples unconstitutional.

The ACLU, on behalf of their clients, is seeking the recognition of the marriages of four same-sex couples legally married in Wisconsin during the week between the District Court’s decision overturning the ban on marriage for same-sex couples and her subsequent stay of that ruling.

“Our clients have married in Wisconsin and that isn’t something the State can take away from them or refuse to recognize,” said Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin.  “The State of Wisconsin has placed hundreds of same-sex couples, including our clients, in an untenable position of not knowing if their marriages will be respected and recognized or simply ignored.  Even if Judge Crabb’s stay means that for a while no more same-sex couples can marry, the Constitution does not allow the State to undo or ignore the marriages that already took place.” 

Stacie Christian, one of the plaintiffs in the case, said, “Julie and I enjoyed one of the greatest moments of our lives the day our state granted us the same freedom to marry as any other loving couple. We made a lifetime commitment to each other 21 years ago, affirmed our marriage four years ago through our church, and again made a lifetime commitment to each other on the courthouse lawn on June 9-one that is about stability, responsibility, and building our family. We hope that those vows on June 9 will soon be as honored by our state as they are by us.”

The ACLU has been working for the rights of LGBT people since its first gay rights case, in 1936. The organization also filed the first ever freedom-to-marry lawsuit for same-sex couples in 1970, and represented Edie Windsor in her successful challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013. Since that time, the ACLU has filed thirteen federal marriage lawsuits on behalf of same-sex across the country.”

The ACLU of Wisconsin is a non-profit, non-partisan, private organization whose 7,000 members support its efforts to defend the civil rights and liberties of all Wisconsin residents. For more on the ACLU of Wisconsin, visit our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @ACLUofWisconsin and @ACLUMadison.