Central Wisconsin counties back and forth on same-sex marriage l - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Central Wisconsin counties back and forth on same-sex marriage licenses

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In central Wisconsin some counties are changing their minds whether or not to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

It's a change now riddled with confusion.

"Are we to act based on her opinion of constitutionality or are we to wait until there's an actual order?" said Scott Corbett, Marathon County Corporation Counsel.

On Friday, a federal judge declared the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional. Since then, hundreds of people have tied the knot. But, it all depends on where you live.

"It's up to each county clerk," explained Corbett. "The county clerks are elected officials and they have the discretion under the law to issue marriage licenses so each one of them has to make a decision, and they have been."

In central Wisconsin, nine counties are issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Three are not. Marathon County is one of those three.

"It's just been overwhelming," said Nan Kottke, Marathon County clerk.

Kottke says she's sticking by her decision not to issue any licenses at this time.

"Nothing has really come down to give direction," said Kottke. "So, that means the current law is still in effect. Current law is that same-sex marriages can not take place."

The federal judge did not order clerks to issue licenses. But, she didn't tell them not to either. That's something Kottke says is unfair.

"I take this responsibility very serious and I do not think this is fair how this whole issue has come down," said Kottke.

"There's two sides. The legal issues are pretty well defined. But has it caused serious confusion for the public? Certainly," said Corbett.

The lawsuit was filed earlier this year by a gay marriage advocate group. The federal judge has given that group until 5 P.M. Wednesday to explain what outcome they'd like to see. The judge is also giving the state the same opportunity.

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