(Scroll to bottom of page for video)
Students protested before a forum Nov. 6, 2014 with Enbridge Pipeline, which plans to increase the flow of tar sands oil through its Wisconsin and Illinois routes. Read more on the pipeline project HERE.
(Scroll to bottom for video)
JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- Candidates give their introductory comments on alcohol, tobacco and heroin use in our communities. Janesville Mobilizing 4 Change as part of the Rock County Prevention Network, hosted a healthy communities forum Oct. 1, 2014. Candidates Dan Kilkenny, Janis Ringhand, Brian Fitzgerald, Amy Loudenbeck, Andy Jorgensen, Kolste and Mark Spreitzer attended. More on the forum is at WalworthCountyToday.com
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."