Gay couples celebrate latest court ruling - WBAY

Gay couples celebrate latest court ruling

Across the state, same sex couples and their supporters were celebrating, calling Thursday's ruling by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals a significant victory.

Everyone's still anxiously waiting to hear the mandate from the court, but one supportive official referred to it as a "celebratory hold."

Same-sex couples married before a federal judge's stay in June are especially excited, hoping to soon have their status as a married couple recognized.

After 21 years together, Bob Archer and his partner Alan were the third same sex couple married in Winnebago County.

They're among others in Wisconsin whose marital status remains in limbo after the court declared the state's voter-approved ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, then issued a stay pending the State's appeal.

"The ride continues and our situation continues," Archer said, "but Alan and I still consider ourselves married."

Gov. Scott Walker says the stay keeping same-sex couples from getting married is still in place and the status quo of married couples has not changed after the appellate court's ruling.

"Ultimately, until the Supreme Court either makes a decision or says they won't take up this case or the case of others like it across the country, we're obligated to support the will of the people as defined in 2006," the governor said.

But that doesn't mean same-sex couples and their advocates aren't excited about this latest ruling.

"I'm thrilled for the ruling. I think it's a good thing for Wisconsin. I think it's time," City of Appleton Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Kathy Flores said.

Flores assures other couples it's a good sign if the ruling heads to the high court.

But for now, gay couples must wait before lining up at Wisconsin courthouses again.

"We can't issue licenses right now, we can't rush to the courthouse, but we can celebrate this victory," she said.

The Attorney General's office says it has 90 days to petition the Supreme Court. The ACLU says the decision striking down the state's ban takes effect in 21 days unless a motion is filed to put it on hold.

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