Same-sex couples file lawsuit against state's marriage ban

CREATED Feb 3, 2014 - UPDATED: Feb 3, 2014

  • Print

MADISON, Wis. – Four same-sex couples wanting to marry in Wisconsin are suing Gov. Scott Walker and other public officials in an attempt overturn the state's ban on gay marriage.

The couples allege that the state’s constitutional marriage ban "sends a message that lesbians, gay men, and their children are viewed as second-class citizens who are undeserving of the legal sanction, respect, protections, and support that heterosexuals and their families are able to enjoy through marriage," according to a release.

“It is our hope that Wisconsin will soon join the other 17 states in granting the freedom to marry,” said John Knight, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project in a release. 

Wisconsin’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples prevents them from securing the hundreds of protections that state law provides to married couples, the organzation goes on to say.

Currently, the only way for Wisconsin couples to get the federal protections that come with marriage is for them to go out of state to marry, however state law mandates that may be a crime punishable by nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine.