WISCONSIN: AG Warns That Clerks Could Be Prosecuted Over Marriage Licenses

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen today warned that county clerks could be prosecuted for issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

“You do have many people in Wisconsin basically taking the law into their own hands and there can be legal repercussions for that,” Van Hollen said. “So, depending on who believes they’re married under the law and who doesn’t believe they’re married under the law may cause them to get themselves in some legal problems that I think are going to take years for them and the courts to work out.” He said he did not believe same-sex couples could be prosecuted but that county clerks risked that happening. “That’s going to be up to district attorneys, not me,” he said. “There are penalties within our marriage code, within our statutes, and hopefully they’re acting with full awareness of what’s contained therein.”

Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell shrugged off the threat, adding that Van Hollen “needs to call off the dogs and turn off the fire hoses.” (Tipped by JMG reader Matthew)