UPDATE: Marathon Co. issuing same-sex marriage licenses - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Marathon Co. issuing same-sex marriage licenses

WAUSAU (WAOW) - Two same-sex couples showed up at the Marathon County Courthouse on Thursday to be the first to receive marriage licenses.

The development came after County Clerk Nan Kottke decided to issue the licenses after refusing to do so for three days following a federal judge's decision that ruled the state's ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional.
"I think we've waited for a long time and it's definitely about time that it has happened because it's happened in other countries and other states and finally Wisconsin and now the Northwoods," said Teri Fritsch of Wausau.

One couple at the courthouse said they want to get married soon but came to the clerk's office to get information.
The first couple to get their license said they planned to get married Thursday by a justice of the peace. 

Kottke said Wednesday that she changed her mind about issuing same-sex marriage licenses out of "fundamental fairness" to people in Marathon County, given that 52 of 72 counties in the state were issuing them.

The judge's ruling last Friday created confusion as state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen immediately took stops to appeal it and block it from taking effect.

MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) – The Marathon County clerk says she will start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples starting Thursday morning.

County Clerk Nan Kottke sent out a news release to the media Wednesday afternoon, saying the majority of counties in Wisconsin are already issuing licenses to same-sex couples.

“As a matter of fundamental fairness to persons who reside in Marathon County, this office will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, absent any further judicial developments prohibiting this action beginning at 8 a.m. on Thursday, June 12, 2014. Couples must have the appropriate documents and marriage ceremony scheduled,” Kottke said in the release.

52 of 72 counties in Wisconsin are now issuing licenses, according to the Associated Press.

Gay marriages are continuing in a majority of Wisconsin counties, even as those defending the state's ban are proceeding with legal action that could result in courts ordering the marriages to stop.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and the American Civil Liberties Union faced a Wednesday deadline to file arguments in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on whether it has the authority to act before U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb does.

While Crabb struck down the ban, she did not issue an order telling the state how to implement her decision.

The state argues her ruling should be put on hold because it's creating confusion. Some county clerks are not issuing licenses, saying they need more guidance.

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