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Marriage Equality

Wis. to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages From June

Wis. to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages From June


Now that marriage equality is the law of the land in Wisconsin, the couples who married in a brief window between court actions in June will have their unions recognized.

The 500 or so same-sex couples who married in Wisconsin in June are now officially married in the eyes of the state, under an order issued Monday by Gov. Scott Walker's administration.

The couples married between June 6 and 13, the period between U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb's ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage and her stay of the ruling while it was appealed. The state did not recognize the marriages while the appeals process played out. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld Crabb's ruling in September, and last week the Supreme Court declined to review the appellate decision, therefore letting it stand.

Now "state agencies will examine and update forms, manuals, and other documents consistent with the ruling, and the state will be treating licenses issued in June as valid marriage licenses," Laurel Patrick, a spokeswoman for the governor, said Monday, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Four of the couples married in June sued last month for state recognition of their unions, and this action is expected to resolve that suit.

"We still plan to seek an enforceable agreement or judgment, so we'll have a remedy if they are not good to their word," Larry Dupuis, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, which represents the couples, told the Journal Sentinel. "But I think this does mean things should wind down quickly," he said.

Kiersten Bloechl-Karlsen, one of the plaintiffs in the suit, issued a statement praising the governor's order. "In our case, I've been a mother to our little girl since the day she was born but was unable to sign her birth certificate," she said. "We can now pursue a second parent adoption so that our right as a family to remain legally connected to each other, no matter what happens, is not compromised."

Also, Wisconsin couples who were legally married in another state as far back as 2010 will be able to file amended tax returns going back to that date, the state Department of Revenue announced. Further, the state will no longer tax the value of insurance benefits residents receive through a same-sex spouse.

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