Hank Hamilton and his partner Larry Clement (L) hold hands during their same-sex marriage ceremony in a mass ceremony at Unity in Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, June 1, 2014. Same-sex marriage became legal in the State of Illinois on June 1.
Jim Young/Reuters

Federal court strikes down Wisconsin’s gay-marriage ban

In 2006, Wisconsin voters easily approved an anti-gay amendment to the state constitution, banning marriage equality in the state. This afternoon, a federal court struck that measure down.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb in Madison on Friday overturned Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban. […]
Last month, state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen acknowledged he would not be surprised to lose the case. He asked the judge to immediately block her own decision if she does strike down the ban. Normally, lawyers wait until a judge rules before asking for a stay. […]
Clerks in Milwaukee, Dane, Waukesha and other counties say they were prepared for the ruling and for an expected stream of gay couples coming in to obtain marriage licenses.
If it seems like there have been a lot of these rulings lately, it’s not your imagination. Two weeks ago a federal judge struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on marriage equality – a court ruling that will not be appealed.
The ruling in the Keystone State came just one day after a similar ruling in Oregon.
Which came just a week after a federal court struck down Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Which came just a week after a court ruled against Arkansas’ anti-gay constitutional amendment.
This came a month after a federal judge ordered Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. The month before that, a federal judge struck down Michigan’s ban on marriage equality.
Civil-rights proponents have scored related victories in VirginiaKentucky, Oklahoma, Utah and Texas, just over the last half-year or so.
For the right, that’s quite a losing streak. Indeed, as we discussed yesterday, how many cases have anti-gay forces won on the merits since the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling? Zero.
Following up on our conversations following one of the recent rulings, what’s especially heartening for proponents of civil rights and equality is how routine success is becoming. It wasn’t long ago that these cases were nerve wracking – a gut-wrenching test of whether basic human decency would prevail – with countless families afraid to hope for fear of bitter disappointment.
Now, every case seems to end with the same celebratory result: watching the arc of history bend closer to justice.