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Wisconsin residents react to gay marriage decision

September 4, 2014

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Here’s what some Wisconsin residents are saying about Thursday’s U.S. appeals court ruling that same-sex marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana violate the U.S. Constitution:

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“It’s a huge decision. Certainly a 3-0 decision with a judge known as a conservative will have some weight. It sends a message,” said Judi Trampf of Madison, who sued with her partner, Katy Heyning, and seven other couples to overturn the ban.

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“This really is, certainly not the end of the line, but it is an important milestone in our long journey to have national recognition and approval for same-sex marriage,” said Karen Gotzler, interim executive director of the Milwaukee LBGT Community Center.

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“What the court said is gender is meaningless and there’s no difference between the sexes, and that’s a very dangerous ruling,” said Julaine Appling, the head of the group Wisconsin Family Action which led the campaign in 2006 to adopt the constitutional amendment.

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“This is yet another historic step forward for marriage equality. For too long, loving couples have been told they cannot marry, this ruling moves us closer to true equality in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the United States,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, who personally paid overtime costs for issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in June.

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“It’s moved a lot faster than I expected. ... When we were asked to be on the case, and when we went through the process, and the debriefing and the explaining that we were looking at five to 10 years — not five to 10 months,” said Milwaukee resident Charvonne Kemp, who is participating in the lawsuit with her partner, Marie Carlson.

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“It’s a big victory for same-sex couples and equality. It moves us much, much closer to marriage equality not only in Wisconsin but the Midwest and United States,” said Scott McDonnell, the Dane County clerk in Madison who issued marriage licenses to gay couples after Wisconsin’s law was initially struck down by a federal judge.

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“I will never get tired of saying once again love wins,” said Keith Borden of Madison, who sued with his partner, Johannes Wallmann.

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