Court rulings impact on Wisconsin still unclear - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Court rulings impact on Wisconsin still unclear


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- Wisconsin is one of 30 states that does not allow same sex marriage and that does not change as a result of either one of Wednesday's Supreme Court rulings.

However two of Wisconsin's bordering states, Iowa and Minnesota, allow gay marriage. Minnesota recently passed the legislation legalizing the unions and they can begin August 1. Wednesday's rulings mean those couples planning to wed in Minnesota, and other states where it's legal, will get benefits like social security, tax credits and inheritance rights.

Right now, the decisions won't change anything about the rules in Wisconsin, but the language in the DOMA ruling could be used to make a case against the ban in the future.

"The case which said that DOMA violated the 5th Amendment, well the 5th Amendment is incorporated by the 14th Amendment to apply to he states," said attorney Joe Veenstra. "So somebody who's saying that Wisconsin's constitutional amendment violates higher constitutional principles, federal constitution principles, would have, I think, a better argument today than it did yesterday because it has this case to say there's essentially no rational purpose for legislation that differentiates between same-sex and separate-sex married couples."

There's a lot that's unclear in Wednesday's rulings. For example if a same sex couple legally marries in one state but then moves to a state, that does not legally recognize the marriage, what rights do they have? States do not have to grant rights to those couples but now that they have federal rights. It's unclear how that will work because some of those federal benefits have state implications.

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