More than two years after marriage equality came to the State of Wisconsin, in September 2016, the Honorable Judge Barbara Crabb of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled that the State of Wisconsin must issue birth certificates reflecting both same-sex spouses as parents of their children born to one of the spouses since Crabb’s marriage equality ruling on June 6, 2014. This victory was achieved by the attorneys at Lambda Legal and cooperating local attorneys, including Tamara Packard. The Court has also issued an injunction, which describes the steps families should follow to obtain two-parent birth certificates.
This significant victory for married same-sex couples and their children further implements marriage equality as a reality in this state. In her ruling, Judge Crabb noted that in the course of the litigation, other possible discriminatory practices by the state were identified, remarking “If the department wishes to avoid more litigation, it should consider taking more proactive steps to prevent discrimination from occurring.” She added, “Same-sex marriage has been legal in Wisconsin since 2014, so there is little excuse for the department to be dragging its feet so long. If the department’s inaction continues, it seems inevitable that more lawsuits will follow, bringing along with them the potential for large bills for attorney fees and even damage awards. The department should act now to prevent these lawsuits, minimize confusion and provide the equal treatment that same-sex couples are entitled to receive under the law.”
Pines Bach is proud to be part of this important case, which secures fundamental legal protections for same-sex couples and their children.