American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin
Press Release

ACLU Supports Bill to Repeal Ban on Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin commends two state lawmakers for introducing a bill today to repeal Wisconsin’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples.

By - Feb 13th, 2014 11:01 am

The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin commends two state lawmakers for introducing a bill today to repeal Wisconsin’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples.

State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa and Sen. Tim Carpenter introduced the bill less than two weeks after the ACLU and ACLU of Wisconsin filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of four same-sex couples who wish to marry in Wisconsin or are seeking recognition for their out-of-state marriages.

The ACLU lawsuit and Wisconsin bill are part of a nationwide movement supporting the freedom to marry in legislatures and in the courts that coincides with the rapidly growing popular support for marriage for same-sex couples. Seventeen states currently allow same-sex couples to marry.

In the past two months alone, federal judges in Oklahoma, Utah, Ohio and Kentucky have either ruled bans on marriage for same-sex couples unconstitutional or ruled that states must recognize the legal marriages of same-sex couples that take place in other states. The ACLU is now co-counsel in the Ohio case.

Earlier this week, the Nevada attorney general and governor announced that the state would no longer defend its 2002 ban on same-sex marriage in federal court, following a similar announcement made a few weeks earlier by the Virginia attorney general. In Ohio this week, four legally married same-sex couples filed a federal lawsuit seeking a court order to force Ohio to recognize their marriages on birth certificates despite a statewide ban. Yesterday in Missouri, the ACLU sued the state on behalf of eight same-sex couples, charging that its ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

“Clearly, courts and lawmakers across the nation have embraced the implications of last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act,” said Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin. “That decision has had huge implications for loving, committed couples across the country.”

Dupuis pointed to polling in Wisconsin and around the country, which shows that a clear majority of Americans and Wisconsinites now support granting all couples the freedom to marry.

“The proposed repeal in Wisconsin is a valuable and important effort to win the freedom to marry and improve public understanding and support of a critical civil rights issue,” Dupuis said. “This bill complements our litigation, which will demonstrate that Wisconsin’s marriage ban violates the U.S. constitution.”

The ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan, private organization whose more than 6,000 members support its efforts to defend the civil rights and liberties of all Wisconsin residents. For more on the ACLU of Wisconsin, visit our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @ACLUofWisconsin and @ACLUMadison.

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