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ACLU will not seek injunction in Wis. marriage suit, asks for expedited decision

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
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MADISON, Wis. — The plaintiffs in a lawsuit agreed Tuesday not to ask for a temporary halt to enforcement of Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage and asked a federal judge instead to expedite a decision on the overall case.

John Hart, APPlaintiffs in a federal lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage appear during a press conference at the Madison Concourse Hotel in Madison, Wis., Monday, Feb. 03, 2014. The couples, from left, are Judi Trampf and Katy Heyning of Madison, Marie Carlson and Charvonne Kemp of Milwaukee, and Garth Wangemann and Roy Badger of Milwaukee.

John Hart, AP
Plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit challenging Wisconsin’s ban on gay marriage appear during a press conference at the Madison Concourse Hotel in Madison, Wis., Monday, Feb. 3, 2014. The couples, from left, are Judi Trampf and Katy Heyning of Madison, Marie Carlson and Charvonne Kemp of Milwaukee, and Garth Wangemann and Roy Badger of Milwaukee.

The American Civil Liberties Union followed a recommendation from U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, who last week cited the flurry of lawsuits around the country in which judges have halted enforcement of bans on same-sex marriage only to have those injunctions immediately overturned.

The ACLU, which is suing on behalf of eight gay couples, decided Tuesday to withdraw its request for a temporary injunction after district attorneys in Milwaukee and Eau Claire counties agreed not to prosecute two of the couples who recently got married in Minnesota, reported The Wisconsin State Journal.

Wisconsin law makes it a crime to go to another state to contract a marriage that is “prohibited or declared void under the laws of the state,” punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and jail time. But the two district attorneys have both determined the law does not apply to the couples, according to the stipulation filed Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in Madison.

“Accordingly, plaintiffs withdraw their motion for preliminary relief in favor of final resolution on an expedited schedule as the court has recommended,” the ACLU’s memorandum said.

The state Department of Justice, which is representing the state and is controlled by Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, declined to comment.

Follow the case: Wolf and Schumacher v. Walker.

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