MADISON, Wisconsin - The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have asked a federal judge to immediately block Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban, which was voted into law in 2006. The law group says they need the ban blocked while they formally argue their case in front of a federal judge.
"Keeping the ban in place impairs gay couples' legal rights and exposes gay Wisconsin couples who married in other states to potential prosecution" says the ACLU. Gay people who live in Wisconsin, but marry in other states are violating the state's Marriage Evasion Act, which prescribes nine months in prison and a $10,000 fine.
"As a result of this marriage ban, two people who love each other and wish to commit to each other and build a life and family together are prohibited from marrying in Wisconsin and denied recognition of their existing marriage entered legally under the laws of another jurisdiction ... if they are of the same sex," the brief said.
The state Department of Justice, which is controlled by Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, is defending the ban despite U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder telling him that he does not have to defend the ban.
Two Democratic Wisconsin lawmakers are also proposing a bill that would nullify the ban if the federal court strikes down the ACLU's motion. The bill would have to be passed by two consecutive sessions and be voted on by the public. Currently, between 53 and 65 percent of Wisconsinites support equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. 85 percent of the state's youth support it.
To sign Wisconsin's Same-sex Marriage Petition, CLICK HERE.