Having reviewed the parties’ and amici’s filings, I am granting plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and denying defendants’ motion to dismiss because I conclude that the Wisconsin laws prohibiting marriage between same-sex coupels interfere with plaintiffs right to marry, in violation of the due process clauses, and discriminate against plaintiffs on the basis of sexual orientation, in violation of the equal protection clause.
In reaching this decision, I do not mean to disparage the legislators and citizens who voted in good conscience for the marriage amendment. To decide this case in favor of te plaintiffs, it is not necessary, as some have suggested, to “cast all those who cling to traditional beliefs in the role fo bigots or superstitious fools,” United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 2717-18 (2013) (Alito, J., dissenting), or “adjudg[e] those who oppose [same-sex marriage] … enemies of the human race.” Id. at 2709 (Scalia, J., dissenting). Rather, it is necessary to conclude only that the state may not intrude without adequate justification on certain fundamental decisions made by individuals and that, when the state does impose restrictions on these important matters, it must do so in an even-handed manner.
This case is not about whether marriages between same-sex couples are consistent or inconsistent with the teachings of a particular religion, whether such marriages are moral or immoral or whether they are something that should be encouraged or discouraged. It is not even about whether the plaintiffs in this case are as capable as opposite-sex couples of maintaining a committed and loving relationship or raising a family together. Quite simply, this case is about liberty and equality, the two cornerstones of the rights protected by the United States Constitution.
(From the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, 6 June 2014, Wolf et al. v. Walker et al.)