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Gay marriage ban lawsuit also seeks to change out-of-state union law

Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Four same-sex couples are not only trying to strike down Wisconsin's gay marriage ban.

The federal lawsuit they filed Monday also seeks to throw out an obscure state law which makes it a criminal misdemeanor for Wisconsin couples to marry in other states if their unions are not recognized here.

Eight plaintiffs filed their lawsuit in federal court in Madison, with backing from the American Civil Liberties Union.

One of the four couples were married in neighboring Minnesota last year. The other three are not married.

Judi Trampf told reporters she didn't want to take the risk of being prosecuted, and face nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine. The couples' lawyers said they did not know of any other state with a law like this.

Fifty-nine percent of Wisconsin voters approved the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage and civil unions in 2006.

The lawsuit seeks to drop the ban -- and to drop earlier language from state law which describes marriage as between a husband and wife.

Republican State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen vowed to defend the amendment. He said he believes it's constitutional.

Wisconsin Family Action, the group that brought forth the amendment, said it would probably try to become involved in defending the ban in court.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)

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