aroundtheregion

There have been many tales of kindness and generosity in Wisconsin following the legalization of marriage equality.

Wisconsin

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, who ruled last week that Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, also rejected a move by Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to immediately halt marriage equality in Wisconsin.

Christopher Graham and Andrew Capelle of Milwaukee got a surprise after their wedding, according to WISN. They went to Transfer Pizzeria & Cafe on Mitchell Street to celebrate.
“When the check came, our server, Melissa, told us that our bill had been taken care of by the staff.”

Madison police officers at city hall left a celebration of marriage equality to go buy cakes for same-sex couples getting married, according to Police One. Off duty officer Sue Carnell told Police One, “It’s a beautiful moment to be able to have your constitutional rights. I’m in that business. That’s what I do. I work every day to make sure everybody’s constitutional rights are protected. And here’s a moment where I feel like my constitutional rights are also now being stood up for.”

Alvin Berg and Vince Nelson, owners of the Flame Nightclubs in Duluth and Superior, married in the Superior Flame over the weekend.

After balking, the administration of Republican Gov. Scott Walker finally allowed the state to register same-sex marriage licenses.

As of Friday morning, the Associated Press reports that 63 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties are marrying same-sex couples.
The only counties not issuing licenses are: Barron, Lafayette, Ozaukee, Portage, Racine, Richland, Vernon, Washburn, and Washington.

North Dakota
A couple has filed the second lawsuit challenging North Dakota’s ban on same-sex marriage. Jan Jorgensen and Cindy Phillips live in Fargo and were married in Moorhead.

Iowa
Des Moines Pride drew over 10,000 people and 80 vendors to downtown over the weekend, and the usual conservative Christian protesters showed — but in very small numbers.

“There have been protesters outside pride, there are people that protest the parade but every year, that group gets smaller and smaller. Today there were actually only three or four,” said Jesse Driscoll, President of Capital City Pride told We Are Iowa.

A former commissioner in the administration of Republican Gov. Terry Branstad won a key ruling in a defamation suit last week. Christopher Godfrey says Branstad wanted him to resign because he is gay. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that Godfrey could sue, and the case will move forward.

Regionally
According to the Queer Index by Vocativ, Des Moines and Madison are in the top ten:

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Andy Birkey
Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

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