Wisconsin celebrates marriage equality

acluFor Wisconsin’s same-sex couples,  marriage is now an undeniable and indisputable legal right — for the first time in our state’s 166-year history. 

On Monday, October 6, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals to lower courts’ rulings on same-sex marriage.

Through this action, the Court allowed the original state and federal circuit rulings from June 6 and September 4 to stand — effectively validated the freedom the marry for all gay and lesbian citizens in Wisconsin.

With the stay on same-sex marriages lifted, county clerks began issuing marriage licenses immediately.

Marriage equality is now protected by the State of Wisconsin.  Even its opponents have conceded their obligation to uphold the Supreme Court’s decision.  Even Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who filed the appeal, stated, “I encourage everyone to respect the Court’s action and to administer the law fairly and impartially.”  

“Under outdated legislature, the act of entering a same-sex marriage was criminal behavior that could be punishable by law,” said Scott Gunkel, PrideFest Milwaukee president. “After today’s events, the act of denying a legal same-sex marriage will become the crime.”

love-will-win_campaignWe applaud the real heroes of the marriage equality battle:  the plaintiff couples who, united with the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, fought furiously for the freedom to marry through the American legal system, all the way to the highest court in the land.

Know them. Respect them.  Honor them.  Without these eight couples’ tireless determination for justice and equality — we would not be celebrating this victory.

We also thank our generous guests who supported this movement.  Your donations, through the 2014 PrideFest Plus One Campaign, were an investment in changing our world.  And together, we did change the world.  The year 2014 will forever be remembered as the year love won in Wisconsin.

Today, for the first time in a long time, Wisconsin has finally moved forward.

PrideFest Milwaukee salutes the many couples who were married during our festival weekend (June 6, 7 and 8, 2014) who may now enjoy the legal, binding and unbreakable bonds of matrimony.  We can’t wait to celebrate your one-year anniversaries with you in June 2015!