US: Wisconsin couples refused full refund for marriage licence fee before stay
Same-sex couples in one county of the US state of Wisconsin are being told they will not receive a full refund for their $100 (£60) marriage licence application fee, despite a stay preventing them from actually marrying.
US District Judge Barbara Crabb struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban, and did not stay her own ruling. Despite not specifically saying counties could begin to issue marriage licences, a number did so immediately.
However, Republican Attorney General JB Van Hollen attempted to stop the marriages, applying for an emergency stay, and warning clerks that they could face ‘punishment’ for marrying gay couples.
Crabb last Friday agreed to halt her ruling, stopping all new marriages until the case’s appeal had concluded, which is likely to take several months.
Despite that some states offered to waive a five-day waiting period, Outagamie did not.
Couples, some of who protested outside the clerk’s office today, were charged $100 each, $55 for the state and $45 for the county. Couples requesting a refund have been told they would receive the state portion back, but not the money charged by the county.
The clerk at Outagamie said the office had provided a service, so therefore could not give the refund.
The County Corporation Counsel said in a statement that the applications would be held, so would still be valid if Judge Crabb’s stay was lifted.
Over 550 couples had already married in the week between the rulings in the state.
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