Portage County same-sex protest - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Portage County same-sex protest

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW)- Portage County is one of a handful of counties in Wisconsin that had not yet started giving out same-sex marriage licenses.

A same-sex couple in Stevens Point protested for equal rights all day Friday at the Portage County Courthouse.

Dozens of people came to the courthouse to show their support for the local couple who has waited 14 years to get married.

They were waiting to hear what the judge would decide.

The Stevens Point couple organized this protest with the help of social media gaining attention from all over the state.

The County Clerk said that she did not feel comfortable issuing marriage licenses because she felt the initial ruling was unclear.

Protestors were at the courthouse all day hoping to convince the clerk to change her mind.

Late Friday, the federal judge in Madison settled the issue for now, halting the issuance of any more same-sex marriage licenses.

"We're never going to give up and we are going to keep fighting until we get our marriage license, " said Allen Rasmussen the protest organizer.

When we asked the county clerk for a statement she said that she had nothing more to comment about the matter.

Shirley Simonis said she wasn't issuing licenses Thursday because she didn't have a clear answer about what to do.

"I understand that that's their right, I think it's their right to get married, I just wish that I could issue them that marriage license with clarity and knowing that that was the right decision to issue it to them," said Simonis.

The couple says they went to the clerk's office nine times this week hoping to get a marriage license. Each time they were denied and they say they are determined to continue until one is issued.

At one point nearly 40 supporters crowded on the courthouse steps. Protesters stayed until the courthouse closed late Friday afternoon, about an hour before the federal judge's latest ruling.

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