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Lawsuit seeks to overturn state ban on same-sex marriage

Published On: Feb 03 2014 01:44:37 PM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

A lawsuit filed in federal court Monday seeks the removal of Wisconsin's 2006 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

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Four couples named in the American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the state argue the ban violates the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and doesn't serve any compelling or legitimate government interest.

One of the couples named is the lawsuit lives in Madison.

The lawsuit states Judith Trampf and Katharina Heyning have been together 24 years and want to marry in Wisconsin. Both work at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

The couple included a story in the lawsuit of an occasion when they were on a trip and Heyning had a medical emergency and was unconscious. They said Trampf was unable to direct Heyning's care.

A domestic partnership law was passed in 2009, but the lawsuit states the law is facing a legal challenge and is not a substitute for marriage.

The ACLU said the couples allege the state’s constitutional marriage ban, "sends a message that lesbians, gay men, and their children are viewed as second-class citizens who are undeserving of the legal sanction, respect, protections, and support that heterosexuals and their families are able to enjoy through marriage."

The lawsuit names Gov. Scott Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen as defendants. Spokespeople for both Walker and Van Hollen didn't immediately return messages.

A news conference regarding the lawsuit is scheduled for Monday afternoon.

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