Breaking: Federal Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin's Marriage Equality Ban

A federal judge has ruled that Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The state now joins its upper-Midwest neighbors Minnesota and Illinois in offering equal access to marriage to all its couples. 

From U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb's ruling:

It is DECLARED that art. XIII, § 13 of the Wisconsin Constitution violates plaintiffs' fundamental right to marry and their right to equal protection of laws under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Any Wisconsin statutory provisions, including those in Wisconsin Statutes chapter 765, that limit marriages to a "husband" and a "wife," are unconstitutional as applied to same-sex couples.

Plaintiffs may have until June 16, 2014, to submit a proposed injunction that complies with the requirement in Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(d)(1)(C) to "describe in reasonable detail . . . the act or acts restrained or required." In particular, plaintiffs should identify what they want each named defendant to do or be enjoined from doing. Defendants may have one week from the date plaintiffs file their proposed injunction to file an opposition. If defendants file an opposition, plaintiffs may have one week from that date to file a reply in support of their proposed injunction.

I will address defendants' pending motion to stay the injunction after the parties have had an opportunity to file materials related to the proposed injunction. If the parties wish, they may have until June 16, 2014, to supplement their materials related to that motion in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Geiger v. Kitzhaber not to grant a stay in that case.

Chris Johnson is reporting, however, that whether or not Wisconsin's gay and lesbian couples can immediately marry is up in the air. "Unclear if gay couples can marry immediately in Wisconsin," Chris tweeted Friday afternoon. "On one hand, she asks for proposed injunction. On other, law is unconstitutional." Stay tuned to Instinct for the latest developments.

Congrats, Wisconsin!