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Judge won't delay lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's gay marriage ban

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A federal judge in Madison will not delay a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage and civil unions.

The state Justice Department asked Federal Judge Barbara Crabb to hold up the case, until the Wisconsin Supreme Court decides whether the state's domestic partner registry is constitutional.

Crabb said Monday that a delay would not serve any purpose. She said the Justice Department never explained how the registry challenge would change the legal issues in the gay marriage suit.

Former Democratic Governor Jim Doyle approved the domestic partner registry in 2009, to give same-sex couples about one-fifth of the legal benefits of married couples. The Wisconsin Family Action group has been trying to throw out the registry even before it took effect.

The Supreme Court heard legal arguments last October, and a decision is pending.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the gay marriage challenge a few months ago, with several same-sex couples as the lead plaintiffs.

The ban was added to the state constitution by voters in 2006. It defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)