County clerks who register couples are on solid legal ground, according to UW-Green Bay political scientist Michael Kraft.
Conflicting opinions exist in Wisconsin, about whether county clerks should be marrying same-sex couples. Of 72 counties, 60 are issuing licenses.
On Thursday, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said those clerks could face criminal charges. He’s fighting on behalf of Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage. Last week, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb declared it unconstitutional.
Michael Kraft is a political scientist at UW-Green Bay. He says it appears most clerks are concluding that same-sex marriage is now legal here.
"It is a legal decision and there would have to be compliance, unless it is overturned by a higher court," Kraft says.
Kraft says even the Governor and Attorney General may not be fond of the decision, nonetheless they must uphold the decision until there is a reversal.
Regarding the likelihood that same sex marriage will be an issue in the fall elections, Kraft says it probably won't rise to the level of such things as the economy or employment.
"I tend to doubt that it will be an overriding issue, one of the top three or four," Kraft says.