POLITICS
06/12/2014 03:14 pm ET | Updated Jun 12, 2014

Wisconsin Clerks Issuing Marriage Licenses To Gay Couples Could Face Trouble

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said county clerks who are issuing marriage licenses to gay couples could face trouble, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Van Hollen said people in the Badger state are "basically taking the law into their own hands" since a federal judge struck down the state's ban on gay marriage on June 6.

"So, depending on who believes they're married under the law and who doesn't believe they're married under the law may cause them to get themselves in some legal problems that I think are going to take years for them and the courts to work out," Van Hollen said Thursday.

According to the AP, 63 of Wisconsin's 72 counties are now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Van Hollen said any punishment dealt to county clerks issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples would "be up to district attorneys, not me."

"There are penalties within our marriage code, within our statutes, and hopefully they're acting with full awareness of what's contained therein," Van Hollen said.

In her 88-page ruling striking down Wisconsin's gay marriage ban, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb stated history alone isn't a reason to justify a ban on same-sex marriage, noting traditional marriage "has not been between one man and one woman, but between one man and multiple women, which presumably is not a tradition that defendants and amici would like to continue." Crabb's was the 14th federal ruling against state marriage bans since last June, when the Supreme Court ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.

Despite efforts by Van Hollen to get the ruling put on hold, Crabb has refused to issue a stay against her ruling to allow same-sex marriages in the state.

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