MADISON (WITI/AP) — A federal judge has struck down Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage, and despite confusion over the ruling, clerks in Madison and Milwaukee say they'll start marrying people immediately.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb released her ruling late Friday, calling the ban unconstitutional.
Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says he'll appeal the decision. But both he and the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit challenging the ban, don't believe the ruling allows same-sex weddings to immediately begin.
Still, clerks in Madison and Milwaukee were planning to start marrying people right away.
Katy Heyning and Judi Trampf came here from Madison because of Cher and Pridefest, they wanted to make it a memorable night... But this?
"It means that, for us, we are finally going to be recognized after 25 years together as a couple with legitimacy," said Heyning and Trampf. "I burst into tears...and I'm still ready to cry. It's wonderful."
A lawyer for the ACLU spoke along with three same-sex couples at a press conference in Riverwest. By then, many in the crowd were aware of Van Hollen's decision to file emergency motions for a federal court to issue a sty on the ruling -- meaning couples wouldn't be able to marry.
"I would hope our state officials would not be so small as to try and take something away from somebody who, in good faith, went to commit to one another publically through marriage," said Larry Dupuis, ACLU lawyer.
Dupis acknowledged the possibility of couples having to wait.
"There`s the question of whether there`s gonna be a stay issued or not so there are steps still coming," said Dupis.
If those steps lead this case all the way to the US Supreme Court, these couples say they'll be ready.
"If there`s a bump in the road and we have to wait a little bit, so be it. It`ll happen eventually," said Garth Wangemann & Roy Badger, same-sex couple.
The ACLU says it will submit a proposed order to the judge on Monday, asking for an injunction which would tell the state what it cannot do, and what it must do in response to the judge's ruling.
Wisconsin is now the 27th state where same-sex couples can marry under law or where a judge has ruled they ought to be allowed to wed.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett issued the following statement:
“All loving couples, committed to each other and family, should have the freedom to marry. Today’s decision by U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb affirms that right.
“I encourage State Attorney General Von Hollen and Governor Walker to drop their opposition to marriage equity and recognize the rights of all Wisconsin couples to marry.”
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued the following statement in response to the ruling released by Judge Crabb:
“As Attorney General, I have an obligation to uphold Wisconsin law and our Constitution. While today’s decision is a setback, we will continue to defend the constitutionality of our traditional marriage laws and the constitutional amendment, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters. I will appeal.
Importantly, current law remains in force. I am encouraged by the District Court’s refusal to issue an immediate injunction. We have seen the disruption to couples and families throughout the United States when courts have first allowed same-sex marriage only to have those marriages subsequently called into question by another court. I anticipate the United States Supreme Court will give finality to this issue in their next term.
I will continue defend our Constitution and law in whatever forum is appropriate and I would hope my successor will fulfill this same oath and obligation.”
Gov. Scott Walker has been a strong proponent of the constitutional same-sex marriage ban that was approved by state voters in 2006.
Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for this developing story.