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Gay marriage

Wisconsin's gay marriage ban struck down

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Yet another state ban on on same-sex marriage has been struck down by a federal judge, this time in Wisconsin.

The ruling, by District Judge Barbara Crabb, states:

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.

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (R) announced that he will appeal the ruling: "While today’s decision is a setback, we will continue to defend the constitutionality of our traditional marriage laws."

Wisconsin's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage was first proposed by the legislature and then passed by the voters in 2006, with 59 percent of the vote. But as with the rest of the country, public opinion in the state has shifted drastically since then, with a recent Marquette Law School poll showing support for same-sex marriage 55 percent, with only 37 percent opposed.