UPDATED Monday, August 4, 2014 --

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Civil right advocates are telling a federal appeals court that Wisconsin's gay marriage ban denies same-sex couples legal protections and serves no rational government purpose.

The American Civil Liberties Union made the arguments in a brief filed with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday. That court is weighing whether to uphold a June ruling from U.S. District Judge Barbra Crabb that found the ban is unconstitutional.

More than 500 same-sex couples married in Wisconsin in the week between Crabb's decision and her order putting marriages on hold pending the state's appeal.

State attorneys filed a brief last month with the court arguing there's no fundamental right to gay marriage. The court has combined the case with a similar appeal in Indiana.

Oral arguments are scheduled for Aug. 26.

Copyright Associated Press 2014


MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld as constitutional a 2009 law creating a domestic partner registry that provides limited benefits to same-sex couples.

Thursday's ruling keeps the registry active but is likely to be overshadowed by a pending gay marriage case. A federal judge declared Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional last month, and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals plans to hear arguments in the state's appeal on Aug. 26.


Thursday's decision comes in a lawsuit filed by Julaine Appling, the head of the conservative group Wisconsin Family Action. Appling claimed the registry violated the state's gay marriage ban.

Both Gov. Scott Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen refused to defend the law, which they also said violated the state constitution.