NBC15 WMTV | Madison, WI | News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Outagamie County to refund marriage license fee


UPDATED Monday, June 16, 2014 --- 2:08 p.m.

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) -- Appleton-area couples who applied for marriage licenses but didn't receive them before a federal judge halted same-sex weddings will receive full refunds of their application fees.

The Outagamie County clerk's office initially said it would refund $55 that would have gone to the state but keep its $45 share of the $100 application fee. But the county executive's office now says Executive Thomas Nelson will refund the $45 from his budget.

Many county clerks waived Wisconsin's five-day waiting period for marriage licenses so same-sex couples could marry quickly after a federal judge declared the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

Outagamie County Clerk Lori O'Bright did not waive the waiting period in most cases, so some couples who were waiting for licenses when the judge halted ceremonies on Friday sought refunds.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

____________________________________________

UPDATED Monday, June 16, 2014 --- 12:22 p.m.

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) -- Some same-sex couples who applied for a marriage license in Outagamie County want a refund of the application fee now that a federal judge has made an initial ruling on a legal challenge of Wisconsin's ban on gay unions.

WLUK-TV (http://bit.ly/SNNPGA ) reports Arti and Josh Alan are among 26 couples who paid the $100 application fee but had to wait five days in Outagamie County before getting married. Many other counties waived the waiting period, allowing more than 500 same-sex couples to marry.

The clerk's office told about 6 couples Monday that only the state's portion of the fee, or $55, would be refunded.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb on June 6 ordered county clerks to stop enforcing the state's gay marriage ban, but she put that ruling on hold Friday while an appeal from Wisconsin's Republican attorney general is pending.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

_____________________________________________

UPDATED Thursday, June 12, 2014 --- 2:45 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Sixty of Wisconsin's 72 counties are now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

An Associated Press survey of the counties Thursday found that all but 12 were issuing the licenses after a federal judge last week struck down the state's ban as unconstitutional. However, the judge created by confusion by not telling state officials how to implement her decision.

The AP tally shows that at least 555 licenses have been issued statewide while 604 applications had been received.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is trying to get last week's ruling put on hold to stop clerks from issuing licenses. Van Hollen said Thursday that those clerks could face charges from local district attorneys for breaking the law by issuing the licenses.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

_________________________________________

UPDATED Wednesday, June 11, 2014 --- 4:32 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Fifty-two Wisconsin counties are now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

A survey of all 72 counties by The Associated Press on Wednesday found that only 20 counties were still denying same-sex couples who wished to get a marriage license after a federal court judge last week struck down the state's gay marriage ban.

The AP survey found that 486 licenses had been issued statewide as of Wednesday afternoon. About 76 percent of those, or 368, were issued in Dane and Milwaukee counties.

The state Vital Records Office started processing the licenses on Wednesday, after it had kept them on hold pending legal advice from the attorney general.

This could be a narrow window for couples to get licenses, as the ruling striking the ban could be put on hold.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

________________________________________

UPDATED Wednesday, June 11, 2014 --- 2:04 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Fifty-two Wisconsin counties are now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

A survey of all 72 counties by The Associated Press on Wednesday found that only 20 counties were still denying same-sex couples who wished to get a marriage license after a federal court judge last week struck down the state's gay marriage ban.

The AP survey found that 483 licenses had been issued statewide as of midday Wednesday. Nearly 80 percent of those, or 378, were issued in Dane and Milwaukee counties.

The state Vital Records Office started processing the licenses on Wednesday, after it had kept them on hold pending legal advice from the attorney general.

This could be a narrow window for couples to get licenses, as the ruling striking the ban could be put on hold.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

_____________________________________________

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds says it is "awaiting further clarification" to determine the effect on health and pension benefits programs it manages in the wake of last week's ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Hundreds of same-sex couples have been getting married in the five days since the ruling from U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb.

The state Department of Employee Trust Funds says in a message on its website posted Tuesday that it will convey any new information about the impact of the ruling to its members as soon as possible.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is trying to stop same-sex marriages while he intends to appeal the judge's ruling.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

__________________________________________________

UPDATED Wednesday, June 11, 2014 --- 12:06 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Office of Vital Records is now processing same-sex marriage licenses issued across the state, even as the attorney general continues to fight the court ruling that led to the marriages.

The office had been holding the licenses that are issued by county clerks, awaiting further guidance from Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen following Friday's federal court ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

Jocelyn Webster, a spokeswoman for Gov. Scott Walker, said Wednesday that after discussing the issue with Van Hollen's office, the decision was made to process the licenses.

Webster says, "It's incumbent upon them to fulfill their administrative duties and that's what they're going to do in this case."

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

_____________________________________

UPDATED Wednesday, June 11, 2014 --- 10:06 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A county clerk and an attorney say gay marriage licenses issued by county clerks are legal even if the state Vital Records Office is not processing them.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said Wednesday that a couple is married as soon as a license is issued and a ceremony is held. He says filing the license with the state is essentially a redundancy, as the record is also available at the county.

Madison attorney Tamara Packard says there is no legal ramification for couples whose licenses are not processed by the state Vital Records Office.

The office has not been processing the licenses waiting guidance from Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. He is defending the state's gay marriage ban, which a federal court struck down last week as unconstitutional.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

____________________________________________

UPDATED Wednesday, June 11, 2014 --- 9:16 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- 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.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

_____________________________________

UPDATED Tuesday, June 10, 2014 --- 5:02 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A canvass by The Associated Press found 49 of Wisconsin's 72 counties were issuing licenses for gay couples to marry as of Tuesday afternoon. Some are also waiving the five-day waiting period for people to get a license. Here's a breakdown of which counties are issuing licenses and which are not:

Counties issuing licenses:

Adams

Ashland

Bayfield

Brown

Buffalo

Burnett

Calumet

Clark

Columbia

Crawford

Dane

Dodge

Door

Douglas

Dunn

Eau Claire

Florence

Fond du Lac

Forest

Grant

Green

Iowa

Iron

Jackson

Jefferson

Juneau

Kenosha

La Crosse

Langlade

Lincoln

Manitowoc

Marquette

Milwaukee

Monroe

Oneida

Outagamie

Pepin

Pierce

Polk

Rock

Rusk

Sauk

Shawano

Sheboygan

Taylor

Trempealeau

Vilas

Waukesha

Wood

Counties that are not issuing licenses:

Barron

Chippewa

Green Lake

Kewaunee

Lafayette

Marathon

Marinette

Menominee

Oconto

Ozaukee

Portage

Price

Racine

Richland

St. Croix

Sawyer

Vernon

Walworth

Washburn

Washington

Waupaca

Waushara

Winnebago

________________________________________________

UPDATED Tuesday, June 10, 2014 --- 2:26 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The number of Wisconsin counties issuing licenses to same-sex couples who want to get married is up to 49.

Shawano County Clerk Rosemary Rueckert and Eau Claire County Clerk Janet Loomis said Tuesday that their offices are now accepting applications for licenses.

At nearly the same time, an employee in the Sawyer County clerk's office said the clerk there had decided to wait until there was more definite direction from the state.

County clerks have been struggling to decide what to do after a federal judge declared the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional but did not tell the state how to implement her decision. Some clerks have been issuing licenses, while others say they will wait for more definite guidance.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

___________________________________________

UPDATED Tuesday, June 10, 2014 --- 2:04 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The latest count by The Associated Press shows clerks in 47 Wisconsin counties will issue licenses to same-sex couples who want to get married.

An earlier count pegged the number at 48, but an employee in the Sawyer County clerk's office said Tuesday that the clerk there had decided to wait until there was more definite direction from the state.

Hundreds of same-sex couples have wed in Wisconsin since Friday, when U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb declared the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

But Crabb also has caused confusion the state by not issuing an order telling officials to issue marriage licenses or hold off. The judge has said she wants to give both sides a chance to weigh in on a proposed order first.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

__________________________________________

UPDATED Tuesday, June 10, 2014 --- 12:55 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The latest count by The Associated Press shows clerks in 48 Wisconsin counties are issuing licenses to same-sex couples who want to get married.

Twenty-four of the state's 72 county clerks' offices say they are not issuing licenses.

A few counties who had not been accepting applications for licenses started doing so late Monday after a federal judge did not order a halt to the issuing of licenses

Hundreds of same-sex couples have wed in Wisconsin since Friday, when U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb declared the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

Some county clerks say they are still in limbo because Crabb did not order a stop to the issuing of licenses, but she also didn't order anyone to issue them.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

_____________________________________________

UPDATED Tuesday, June 10, 2014 --- 11:08 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The latest count by The Associated Press shows clerks in 45 Wisconsin counties are issuing licenses to same-sex couples who want to get married.

Twenty-seven of the state's 72 county clerks' offices say they are not issuing licenses.

Hundreds of same-sex couples have wed in Wisconsin since Friday, when a federal judge declared the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb hasn't told counties whether or not they should issue licenses. But some county clerks have chosen to do so on their own.

Others say they are waiting for an order from the court or state.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

____________________________________________

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A central Wisconsin clerk says her affiliation with the Republican Party has nothing to do with her decision not to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb declared Wisconsin's gay marriage ban unconstitutional last week but offered county clerks no direction. Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen argues the ban is still in place since Crabb didn't issue a clear order halting enforcement.

Forty-five of Wisconsin's 72 county clerks are issuing licenses anyway. Waushara County is one of the 27 counties not issuing.

Clerk Melanie Stake is a Republican, but she says that's got nothing to do it. She says she's not a lawyer and Crabb offered no clear direction. So she's simply going by what Van Hollen said since he's the state's top attorney.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

____________________________________________

POSTED Monday, June 9-- 6:00 p.m.

Gay couples are continuing to marry but under confusion among county clerks.

Many county clerks said they haven't had any guidance, but couples are jumping at the window of opportunity. Hundreds made their relationship official since Friday, more than 160 in Dane County.

Many clerks around the state said this has put them in a difficult situation without any official order to grant these licenses.

But because they haven't been told they can't issue them, many of them are honoring couple's requests.

The concern surrounds Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen appeal to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court.

Clerks warn couples beforehand that future rulings may impact their license.

But for couples like Joanne Holland and Margie Rosenberg who've been together for 18 years, they're confident their marriage is now in the books.

"I'm not concerned our license won't be valid, that our marriage is invalid. I am concerned there may be interruption on a go forward basis; hence we took action today," said Holland.

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said the state should be issuing guidance, but he calls this a use of bureaucracy to slow things down and says he will continue issuing licenses until Judge Crabb says he can't.

"The attorney general can't tell me what to do, but a judge can tell me what to do. And if there is something that comes from a judge that tells me to stop, that's exactly what we'll do," said McDonnell.

It's still pretty split among county clerks-- 41 of the state's 72 counties are issuing licenses, while others are still holding out on an official order from the state.

There is a five day waiting period after a license is issued, which is typical among any marriage. Some county clerks are waiving this five day period, while others are not.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
NBC15 615 Forward Drive Madison, Wisconsin 53711 Business: 608-274-1515 Newsroom: 608-274-1500
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 262446701 - nbc15.com/a?a=262446701