June 13, 2014 at 7:44 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Judge halts same-sex marriages in Wisconsin

gavel, law, court, gay news, Washington Blade

A federal court has stayed same-sex marriages taking place in Wisconsin (Photo by Bigstock).

A federal judge has agreed to halt same-sex marriages taking place in Wisconsin in the same order in which she spells out the injunction for an earlier ruling against the state’s marriage law.

In a 14-page order handed down on Friday, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb issued the stay pending appeal in response to an emergency request to halt the weddings by Wisconsin Attorney J.B. Van Hollen.

“IT IS ORDERED that defendants’ motion to stay all relief in this case…is GRANTED,” Crabb writes. “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.”

Last week, Crabb ruled the 2006 ban on same-sex marriage in Wisconsin violated the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. However, she included neither an injunction, nor a stay as part of her decision.

Even without an injunction, as many as 15 counties began granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples, much to the chagrin of Van Hollen, who insisted the ban was still in effect.

In a statement, Van Hollen crowed over the judge’s decision to halt any further same-sex marriage from taking place within the state.

“I am very pleased that Judge Crabb has followed the lead of courts across the country, including the United States Supreme Court, and fully stayed her ruling,” Van Hollen said. “By staying this ruling, she has confirmed that Wisconsin’s law regarding same-sex marriage remains in full force and effect.”

On Monday, Crabb rebuffed an earlier request for a stay, saying she would decide the issue after all parties in the case submitted proposed injunctions in the aftermath of the ruling.

Van Hollen has appealed the case to the U.S. Seventh Circuit of Appeals, which is now one of six federal appeals courts considering the issue of marriage equality.

Now that the stay is in effect, a situation is created in Wisconsin along the lines of what happened in Utah and Michigan, where questions linger about whether the same-sex marriages in the state will be recognized by the states and the federal government. In both cases, state officials determined they wouldn’t grant benefits same-sex couples married in those states, although U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder determined they would be valid in the eyes of the federal government.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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