Walworth County Sunday | Janesville Messenger | Stateline News



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Monday, 09 June 2014 00:00

Video: Janesville women celebrate Rock County's first gay marriage

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Jennifer Wagner, left, and Amanda Suckow exchange vows at the Rock County Courthouse June 9, 2014 while witnesses Ed Timmer and Barabara Fett look on. The Rev. Matthew Mills officiated. Jennifer Wagner, left, and Amanda Suckow exchange vows at the Rock County Courthouse June 9, 2014 while witnesses Ed Timmer and Barabara Fett look on. The Rev. Matthew Mills officiated. Dan Plutchak/staff

JANESVILLE -- Jennifer Wagner and Amanda Suckow forgot their wedding rings at home, but it didn't dampen the spirit of the brief ceremony Monday for Rock County's first marriage between two women.

(Scroll to bottom for video)

Rock County Clerk Lori Stottler began issuing same-sex marriage licenses this morning following a ruling Friday by  U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb that Wisconsin's prohibition on same-sex vows in the state violated the rights of gay and lesbian couples to equal protection under the federal constitution and fair treatment under the law.

Rock County is the third county in Wisconsin to begin issuing licenses, following Dane and Milwaukee counties.

"I'm more worried about not giving a license than I am about denying one," Stottler said.

Wagner and Suckow received their wedding vows outside the courthouse by The Rev. Matthew Mills of the Universal Life Church. It was his first wedding, he told Stottler, who walked him through the legal requirements of the marriage.

Ed Timmer and Barbara Fett of the Unitarian Church in Janesville were on hand to present couples with roses. They served as witnesses for the ceremony. The Rev. Jim Jaeger of the Unitarian Church in Madison also was on hand to serve as an officiant if needed.

Stottler said of the clerks she talked to, most were waiting to see if any same-sex couples would show up to apply for a license this morning. "It tends to split along party lines," she said.

Wagner and Suckow, who met at work, will hold a ceremony for family and friends later at Traxler Park, the couple said.

Walworth County Clerk Kim Bushey decided to not issue same-sex marriage licenses until she received notification from the county lawyer on what is the "correct legal action," additional information from the state and a decision from a federal court hearing today.

Two people, one via email and the other via phone, spoke with Bushey about marriage licenses Monday. Another couple stopped by in-person, Bushey told the Gazette.

"It puts all of the county clerks in a very difficult situation," Bushey said. "I think its sort of a moving target right now, and we need some additional information."


People in this conversation

  • Guest - Mitch

    ;)last I looked, we were a nation whose success depended on the separation of church and state and not on the cross and "the Word." Thank God then there is now a place where loving, committed individuals can enjoy the same freedoms as their religious brethren. And please remember, john , if you're using the bible to hurt someone , you're using it wrong.

  • Guest - nichole

    Who are you to say who can and cannot love someone?! Let them live their lives they arent bothering you are they? Then if they get judged by a higher power let god be the judge you ppl however are not! Get a life? congratulations to the new married couple

  • Guest - jacob

    This makes me sick. I'm embarrassed to live in this state

  • Guest - John

    Now that our local and state laws have superceded Gods laws we will be accountable at that level of defiance from a court that is higher than our courts!
    I pray that the real church of God is praying and doing what is needed to stand for righteousness!
    God have mercy on us and lead us back as a nation to the cross and the Word.

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