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Wisconsin AG Van Hollen requests stay in gay marriage case

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Federal Judge Barbara Crabb has not decided what to do about a legal challenge to Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage.  

But state attorney general J.B. Van Hollen has already asked the judge to delay any order she might make to strike down the ban -- so gay marriages don't become legal if he decides to appeal the matter.  

Van Hollen told WISN-TV in Milwaukee last weekend that he expects Crabb to rule against him -- which would make an appeal possible.

The ACLU filed suit in February on behalf of eight gay couples to strike down Wisconsin's 2006 constitutional ban on gay marriage and civil unions. They also want to strike down a state law making it a crime for Wisconsin residents to have same-sex weddings elsewhere. They contend that their civil rights are being violated.

59 percent of Wisconsin residents voted yes to the gay marriage ban seven years ago -- but voter sentiment has changed since then.

A new Marquette Law School said 55 percent of Wisconsin registered voters favored same-sex marriage, with 37 percent against. If a third option for civil unions is allowed, 49 percent support gay marriage, 25 percent support civil unions, and 18 percent would oppose any legal recognition.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)