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Gay marriage on hold in Wisconsin pending appeal

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Wisonsin gay marriageA federal judge on Friday put same-sex marriages in Wisconsin on hold pending appeals of her ruling one week ago that the state's ban on gay nuptials is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb said she issued the stay at the request of Wisconsin officials who are appealing her decision and to avoid further confusion among county clerks who have issued hundreds of marriage licenses.

Crabb wrote in her opinion that she was required to follow the guidance of the U.S. Supreme Court and issue a stay, despite finding it difficult "after seeing the expressions of joy on the faces of so many newly wedded couples."

The judge's ruling last Friday that Wisconsin's 2006 ban violated the U.S. Constitution brought a rush to county clerks offices and a flurry of marriages. Crabb's order Friday did not address the status of the marriages.

According to Fair Wisconsin, an LGBT advocacy organization, 61 of the state's 72 county clerks have issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples since the ruling. A Reuters tally found that more than 500 gay couples have applied for or have been granted a marriage license in Wisconsin in the past week.

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