Wisconsin Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down By Judge Barbara Crabb, Who Ruled It Wasn't Constitutional
Another anti-gay law bit the dust on Friday when a District Court judge ruled Wisconsin's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional, essentially overturning it. Eight same-sex couples challenged the ban in court. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb sided with them in her 86-page ruling. With the ruling, Wisconsin is now one of 27 states where gay marriage is either legal or a judge has said it should be, the AP reports.
The AP also said no one was yet sure whether same-sex couples could begin marrying in the wake of the decision. In her opinion, Crabb was careful to write that her decision regarding the ban's constitutionality was not a referendum on Wisconsin voters' beliefs on gay marriage. Voters banned gay marriage explicitly in the state's constitution in 2006.
This case is not about whether marriages between same-sex couples are consistent or inconsistent with the teachings of a particular religion, whether such marriages are moral or immoral or whether they are something that should be encouraged or discouraged. It is not even about whether the plaintiffs in this case are as capable as opposite-sex couples of maintaining a committed and loving relationship or raising a family together. Quite simply, this case is about liberty and equality, the two cornerstones of the rights protected by the United States Constitution.
Prior to Crabb's order, the decision reads, Wisconsin law explicitly mandated the following thanks to the 2006 anti-gay marriage amendment:
“[o]nly a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.”
Crabb has previously come under fire from Wisconsin residents for her decision ruling the "National Day of Prayer" at odds with the constitutional separation of church and state. A 2010 USA Today article noted that in the 1980s, protestors freaked out and burned an effigy of Crabb after she ruled that American Indian nations could continue a traditional spearfishing practice, which white fishermen weren't pleased about.
Needless to say, a former clerk told the newspaper that Crabb wasn't easily swayed by public opinion — though if she was, her latest opinion would be in line with national views on gay marriage. Kendall Harrison said it'd be hard for things to get worse than being burned in effigy.
Talk about developing thick skin that'll do it for you.