Same Sex Marriage Now Legal – At Least For Now…

By Attorney Gregg Herman
June 7, 2014

It didn’t take long – soon after Judge Crabb’s ruling, same sex couples began racing to the courthouse to get married. This could be a problem.

As stated in earlier blogs, I am in favor of same sex marriages for two reasons. First, as a divorce lawyer, it’s good for business! Second, as a moderate conservative (whatever that means), I don’t think government should intervene where no third party or overriding interests are at stake. As a society, we should be encouraging people to make commitments, not discouraging.

But, marriage has consequences. According a report in 1997 from the General Accounting Office, there are 1,049 federal laws dealing with the consequences of being married.

So, the rush to the courthouse is troubling as Judge Crabb’s ruling is going to be reviewed and could be overturned. If it is, would the marriages granted in the meantime be valid? If not, what if they have filed joint income tax returns in the interim (it could take years for the ruling to be reviewed)? What if someone dies in the interim? The “what ifs” could go on forever – or at least 1,049 times.

Therefore, I think it would have been better if the ruling had been stayed pending review. I do believe that at some point, same-sex marriages will be recognized everywhere. But I could be wrong – and even if I’m not, this a chaotic way of making law.

Attorney Gregg Herman is a founding partner of Loeb & Herman S.C. in Milwaukee, WI. He practices family law exclusively, and can be reached via e-mail or by calling (414) 272-5632.