Attorney general asks for hold placed on gay marriage decision

Attorney general asks for hold placed on gay marriage decision

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - A new poll from the Marquette Law School shows 55 percent of Wisconsin voters favor allowing gay marriage in the state, 37 percent oppose and 6 percent are undecided.

This poll comes after more than a dozen rulings by federal judges have struck down same-sex marriage bans across the country.

Wisconsin's attorney general, J.B. Van Hollen, said last week he expects federal judge Barbara Crabb to rule against the state's current ban on gay marriage.

Friday Van Hollen asked Crabb to keep the current ban in place through any appeal process.

Walker doesn't believe the recent increase in gay marriage supporters in the state will change anything during the race for governor.

"It may, depending on the trend you've seen elsewhere in the country, it may end up being decided by the courts," Walker said.

Walker said by filing for a hold on the decision, the attorney general is doing his job.

"I think that they've looked at the fact that back in 2006 the voters enacted a provision that put the language of the law that's being contested right now, so I presume they're trying to figure out what they need to do to defend that," Walker said.

Jackson Jantzen, from the LGBT Resource Center in La Crosse, believes the same but says the request for a hold is disheartening, knowing that so many Wisconsin voters now support same-sex marriages.

"To know that I'm living in a state that has not yet made that accessible to all of its citizens is challenging," Jackson said.

Jantzen said he's happy to see the wave of support growing across the country.

"It seems to be happening in states that I never would have anticipated," he said.

That same wave is concerning Wisconsin's attorney general, however.

"Obviously when you have so many federal judges across the nation relying largely on the same Supreme Court decision to strike down laws similar to the constitutional amendment that we have here in Wisconsin, there are concerns that we will not prevail, as well," Van Hollen said.

"I look forward to the day when we're not having this conversation. I think that it is a matter of when not if. I just wish that we were experiencing some of the joy that other states are experiencing and that (that) was the conversation you and I were having now versus talking about one more obstacle.," Jantzen said.

By asking for a hold to be placed on a decision, many believe that it is another sign that the attorney general believes the federal judge is going to rule against the state.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Seven other states are currently appealing the rulings that their bans are unconstitutional.

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