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Federal judge to hear motion March 27 in Wisconsin marriage equality case

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb set March 27 as the date for a first hearing in Wisconsin's marriage equality case.

On that date in Madison, Crabb will hear arguments on a motion from the plaintiffs to block the state from enforcing its ban on same-sex marriage.

"We are seeking a preliminary injunction to relieve the burden placed on same-sex couples who have legally married elsewhere,” Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin, said in a statement released on Feb. 28. “These loving, committed couples should not have to take this risk of being prosecuted.”

The ACLU of Wisconsin, the national ACLU and the law firm of Mayer Brown filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in the equality case on Feb. 27.

The ACLU also filed an amended complaint that added four additional couples to the original lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court on Feb. 3. The original suit was filed on behalf of four same-sex couples who wish to marry in Wisconsin or are seeking recognition for their legal out-of-state marriages.

The four new couples added to the lawsuit include:

• Kami Young and Karina Willes of Milwaukee, who have been together 13 years and are having a child together in April.

• Salud Garcia and Pam Kleiss of Madison, who have been together 18 years and have a 12-year-old daughter.

• Bill Hurtubise and Dean Palmer, who have three children and live in the Racine/Kenosha area.

• Johannes Wallmann and Keith Borden of Madison, who have been together 15 years.

The first plaintiffs include: Roy Badger and Garth Wangemann of Milwaukee; Carol Schumacher and Virginia Wolf of Eau Claire; Charvonne Kemp and Marie Carlson of Milwaukee; and Judi Trampf and Katy Heyning of Madison.

Wisconsin has a constitutional amendment banning the state from recognizing same-sex marriage. It also has an old law on the books that says same-sex couples who go out of state to marry could be prosecuted and face, if convicted, up to nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Crabb, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, was nominated by President jimmy Carter. She was born in Green Bay, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor's degree in 1960 and a law degree in 1962.

She worked in private practice in Madison, then became a research assistance at UW-M Law School for a professor and also the American Bar Association's Project on Minimum Standards of Criminal Justice.

The Senate confirmed Crabb's appointment to the federal bench in October 1979, according to judgepedia.org.

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