AG Van Hollen: Clerks issuing same-sex marriage licenses could b - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

AG Van Hollen: Clerks issuing same-sex marriage licenses could be prosecuted

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Thursday same-sex couples who have wed in the state since last Friday are not married in the eyes of the law. Furthermore, the newspaper reports Van Hollen said county clerks issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples could be prosecuted.

"You do have many people in Wisconsin basically taking the law into their own hands and there can be legal repercussions for that," Van Hollen said in a report on jsonline.com. "So, depending on who believes they're married under the law and who doesn't believe they're married under the law may cause them to get themselves in some legal problems that I think are going to take years for them and the courts to work out."

He also reportedly said whether or not county clerks were prosecuted would be up to the county district attorneys.

"That's going to be up to district attorneys, not me," he said. "There are penalties within our marriage code, within our statutes, and hopefully they're acting with full awareness of what's contained therein."

The Journal Sentinel reports County clerks, under Wisconsin law, can be jailed for up to nine months and fined up to $10,000 for issuing marriage licenses that aren't allowed.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that 63 of Wisconsin's 72 counties are now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.


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