MILWAUKEE -- Members of the LGBT community in Milwaukee and their allies are celebrating even though same-sex marriage has been legal in Wisconsin since last year. They say it's a historic day in all 50 states.
Supporters of Friday's landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, including Wisconsin's ACLU chapter, say our nation's highest court is right to determine that a person's right to marry is essential to his or her freedom.
"Marriage is a fundamental right for all Americans. Whether they're gay, straight -- it's a fundamental right," said Chris Ahmuty, Executive Director of ACLU of Wisconsin.
The director of Milwaukee's LGBT Community Center says Friday has been one long celebration -- with a string of calls and visits from people offering support. Karen Gotzler says the ruling affirms the rights of many people without diminishing anyone else's freedom.
"The movement is not about taking away rights. The movement is about being sure we have inclusion -- and freedom and equality for everyone," said Gotzler.
Critics of the ruling, such as the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, say even if allowing same-sex marriage is good policy, it has to come from the people -- not the courts.
"All of these questions about defining marriage. Are they questions that are given to the legislatures to decide? For the elected representatives to decide? Or are they issues for unelected judges to decide?" asked Rick Esenberg, President of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty.
Another question in the debate -- how should popular opinion affect court decisions? Esenberg says that's not a judge's job.
Some of the first gay couples to legally marry in Wisconsin were in Milwaukee on Friday. They're celebrating the fact that more than a dozen other states must now recognize their marriage.