Friday, April 10, 2009

Wisconsin challenge to same sex marriage ban

In 2006, Wisconsin voted to amend the constitution to prohibit same sex marriage. I thought seriously about moving. It's bad enough to live in the state that gave us Senator Joe McCarthy (for you young'uns, Google it) but also the birthplace of the Republican party. On the other hand, we have a Democratic Governor, two Democratic Senators and Tammy Baldwin, my Congressperson, is openly gay.

So I was shocked, saddened and embarrassed that it passed. It never even occurred to me that it could pass. Yes, my district is a little different than the rest of the state.

Now, a UW professor is bringing a case to the Supreme Court. It's based on a technicality that the law requires a referendum have only one issue and this one had two. Now, you would think someone would have noticed.... but that would be thinking logically. Just like I thought it would never pass. Again, thinking logically.

I'll take a "oops, throw out the amendment" even if it has to be won on a technicality. And I hope Wisconsin has made progress in the last years. Because we're neighbors with Iowa and I really don't want to look stupid now.


  1. This is great news! A technicality may mean a move to Wisconsin! I'll take it!

    Thank you for bring this to my attention!

  2. Texas did a similar thing. Unfortunately, it stuck here - well, so far. I don't know if you've seen this or not, but the Wisconsin Attorney General wrote on the ballot initiative the following instruction to voters:

    In fact, the language is so broad that when proposed to Wisconsin voters, then attorney general wrote:

    "A ‘yes’ vote [for the marriage ban] would also prohibit recognition of any legal status which is identical or substantially similar to marriage for unmarried persons of either the same sex or different sexes. The constitution would not further specify what is, or what is not, a legal status identical or substantially similar to marriage. Whether any particular type of domestic relationship, partnership or agreement between unmarried persons would be prohibited by this amendment would be left to further legislative or judicial determination."

    I talked a bit with Merle Horwitz about this language. He's an attorney in CA and wrote "Love is Love, but Business is Business." I discussed it briefly at

    So Wisconsin is in the same situation as Texas for this one. Shame really.