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Same-sex marriage in Wisconsin has been legal since October 6, 2014, following the resolution of a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. On that day, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a federal court ruling that found Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Same-sex couples began progressively in Wisconsin counties following the release of the court's order.
The constitution of Wisconsin had precluded state recognition of same-sex marriages and prohibited the establishment of any similar legal status under another name since 2006, when 59% of voters ratified a constitutional amendment defining marriage so as to exclude same-sex couples. The state's constitution and statutes previously contained no similar restrictions. A federal lawsuit filed in February 2014, Wolf v. Walker, challenged Wisconsin's refusal to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, its refusal to recognize same-sex marriages established in other jurisdictions, and related statutes. In June 2014, Judge Barbara Crabb of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled for the plaintiffs and in the week before she stayed her decision county clerks in 60 of the state's 72 counties issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples and some performed marriage ceremonies for them. The state appealed her decision to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed her decision on September 4 and later stayed implementation of its ruling until the U.S. Supreme Court decided whether to consider the case.
Public opinion polls since voters adopted the constitutional amendment in 2006 report a trend in favor of legal recognition of same-sex relationships.
Same-sex unions in the United States
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