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Budget cuts, angry same-sex couples make life rough for clerks of courts

STEVENS POINT, WI (WTAQ) - It's not easy working for a court of law in Wisconsin these days.

Budget cuts are said to be threatening the jobs of at least some support staffers. And this week, people upset that they cannot get same-sex marriage licenses are calling the Portage County Clerk of Courts' office instead of the county clerk.

Portage is among the minority of counties waiting for further legal guidance before letting gay couples get married. County clerks have been handling the matter. Clerks of courts are separate entities -- and the court clerk in Stevens Point, Patricia Baker, says angry callers are blaming the wrong people.  

She tells WSAU Radio that one of neighbors sent her an e-mail, saying, "Shame on me for not allowing same-sex marriages."

Meanwhile, some court staffers in Eau Claire County are concerned about their continued employment.

WQOW-TV in Eau Claire says the county is considering a resolution protesting a planned statewide budget cut of $12 million for the court system next year.

Judge William Gabler tells the station that the clerk of courts' office is already closing early, so employees can do processing and filing work they can't do during the business day when they're dealing with the public.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)