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Milwaukee County Board Approves $7K donation for same-sex marriage expenses

The Milwaukee County Board’s Finance Committee voted Thursday to approve a donation of $7000 to cover the overtime costs associated with the Milwaukee County Courthouse remaining open during the brief time where same sex couples could get married.

Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Executive, personally donated $7147. He stated, “It’s safe to say this is the best $7,000 I’ve ever spent, by keeping the Courthouse open we helped loving couples marry and sent a message that Milwaukee County supports equality.” Abele had ordered the courthouse to remain open after hours on Friday June 6th and to be open Saturday June 7th to allow couple to marry following the June 6th court ruling striking down Wisconsin’s ban on same sex marriage.

The following week the ruling was placed on hold pending appeal. During the week couples were allowed to marry, over 550 license were issued throughout the state of Wisconsin.

Brief History of same sex marriage in Wisconsin:

· 2006 Referendum 1 creates a constitutional amendment prohibiting same sex couples from getting married or having any form of legal recognition similar to marriage

· 2009 Governor Jim Doyle signs a bill creating domestic partnerships to give some legal standing to same sex couples

· 2014 U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb overturns state ban on same sex marriage

· 2014 Counties issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples for one week before ruling is placed on hold pending appeal

· 2014 Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen files appeal, says clerks that issued licenses could be charged with breaking the law