Clerk explains why Eau Claire County is not issuing same-sex marriage licenses
Eau Claire Co. (WQOW) - There is statewide confusion about a ruling on same sex marriages.
We know the what, but the *when* is unclear. On Friday, a federal judge overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage, but she did not give county clerks any direction as to whether they could begin issuing licenses now. That left clerks to decide for themselves whether they have the power. A number of counties, including Milwaukee, Dane and Brown, started giving out licenses.
State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen asked U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb to put a hold on her decision, but on Monday, she said she won't do that. At this point, the judge is asking the A.C.L.U., which filed the original lawsuit, to tell her exactly what it wanted her to block in the same-sex marriage law. Judge Crabb said she'll schedule a hearing once the A.C.L.U. responds.
"That's the exact situation that we were trying to avoid from day one, trying to avoid the confusion, trying to avoid the legal repercussions they may have because of that, trying to avoid the fact that the counties may be civilly liable for actions they take contrary to law and so the answer is unclear," said Van Hollen.
Eau Claire and Chippewa counties are among those that are not issuing same-sex marriage licenses right now. Monday, WQOW News 18 spoke with the Eau Claire county clerk about why.
"Vital Records is the state department that oversees marriage licenses, and they should be the ones giving us direction on whether we do issue them or not. And they have not been giving us direction, any of the county clerks direction," said Eau Claire County Clerk Janet Loomis.
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