Same-Sex Couples Line Up for Marriage Licenses - WBAY

Same-Sex Couples Line Up for Marriage Licenses

Gay couple marries in Madison on June 7. Gay couple marries in Madison on June 7.
Madison -

Nearly 150 gay couples have married in Milwaukee after a federal judge overturned Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage.

County clerks in Milwaukee and Madison kept their offices open to issue licenses to couples who want to marry before an expected hold is placed on the judge's decision.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said Saturday afternoon that 146 couples married there before the courthouse closed at 1 p.m.

A post on his official Twitter account says 68 couples married Friday evening and 78 married on Saturday.

Abele issued an order allowing the county clerk to extend office hours. He says this is 24 hours he'll never forget and he's honored to take part in helping the couples marry.

"I think it makes it even more important that we did it today. That's part of what was in our minds. We wanted to make it be known this is important to people and people are ready and willing to commit and want to do this," said Sara Hinkel, who went to the Dane County Clerk's office to get her marriage license on Saturday.  

Hinkel married Kerry Lehman, a native of Door County.

"We've already been together 14 years this just makes it sweeter and better," said Lehman. 

People cheered, and tears were shed as same-sex couples gave their vows and were married on the steps outside the Dane County Clerk's Office and Madison City Hall. People passing by stopped to watch and take pictures.

"This is the moment where history has been made, the ball is moving and you're not going to be able to stop it," said Drew White, who was passing by Madison City Hall.  

Crowds passed by walking to and from a nearby farmers market, but protesters were nowhere to be seen.

"Nobody seems to be negative, everyone is happy. There is a band playing and it seems to be a good time," said Christina Libs, who passed by Madison City Hall after visiting the downtown farmers market. 

Throughout the day same-sex couples continued to line up at the Dane County Clerk's Office to get their marriage licenses. At least one set of newlyweds plans to head to Northeast Wisconsin after their special day in Madison.

"We were back in Sturgeon Bay last week we'll be back there in a couple of weeks and we look forward to celebrating with folks up there," said Lehman. 

While these newlyweds celebrate Wisconsin's attorney general J.B. Van Hollen vows to fight to put the gay marriage ban back in effect.

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