Northwoods county clerks have been issuing marriage licenses, or would do so if asked, to same-sex couples.
The legal matter has been in limbo since federal Judge Barbara Crabb last week issued a decision that Wisconsin's 2006 ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has appealed that decision to a federal appeals court.
Oneida County Clerk Mary Bartelt says Monday was hectic, as there were conflicting signals coming to her from legal circles. But Tuesday, the Wisconsin Counties Association relayed that clerks should begin the process...
".....we've had numerous phone calls, but we've had only one couple come in and apply for the marriage license. I do not waive the five-day waiting period, therefore they have to wait to get married on the sixth day..."
Bartelt says she felt that by waiving the waiting period for same-sex couples, other couples who have to wait might make a legal challenge.
Bartelt says they are using the traditional forms which list "bride and groom". She says they came up with a way to list the people on the license....
"....then what we do is we do it by 'alpha'...by alphabet...and then they're the first person on the marriage license...."
In checking with Vilas County Clerk Dave Alleman's office and the Forest county clerk, both offices are also issuing the same-sex licenses.