Saturday, April 11, 2009

Challenge to Wisconsin's Marriage Equality Ban Moves Closer to the Supreme Court

From The Superior Telegram:

A lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's constitutional ban on Gay Marriage took another step closer to the State Supreme Court Thursday.

The suit brought by U-W Oshkosh professor William McConkey says the 2006 referendum on Gay Marriage in the state violated the state constitution because it included two different issues. Banning gay marriage and banning civil unions. The suit claims the state's constitution requires all referendums to address only one issue. This week the state Appeals court ruled that the referendum's wording did raise constitutional questions that the high court should clarify. McConkey's lawyer Lester Pines says he's hopeful the high court will address those issues.

The Supreme Court could say well you might not have thought the law was clear in this area but we do and then just apply it and decide the case.

Gay Marriage advocates like Glenn Carlson of Fair Wisconsin hope the court will clarify the rules in a way that invalidates the states same sex union ban.

"Certainly if the suit is successful it will throw out the result of the November election in 2006 but there seems to be an awful long way to go before getting to that point."

Taken from the website:

About Wisconsin State Amendment Banning Gay Marriage

On November 7th, 2006 whether to allow or not allow gay marriage in the state of Wisconsin was put to a vote. An amendment to make sure it would be banned was placed on the ballet and Wisconsin voters passed the amendment by a margin of 59%-41%.

I'll give you a full detail story of this amendment and why people are working hard to get this repealed. Here is what I found out:

Article XIII, Section 13 of the Wisconsin State Constitution states "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."

Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 765. The Family Code (765-768)
states this:

765.001(2) Intent-... Under the laws of this state, marriage is a legal relationship between 2 equal persons, a husband and wife, who owe to each other mutual responsibility and support....

765.01 A civil contract-Marriage, so far as its validity at law is concerned, is a civil contract, to which the consent of the parties capable in law of contracting is essential, and which creates the legal status of husband and wife.

765.04 Marriage abroad to circumvent the laws-(1) If any person residing and intending to continue to reside in this state who is disabled or prohibited from contracting marriage under the laws of this state goes into another state or country and there contracts a marriage prohibited or declared void under the laws of this state, such marriage shall be void for all purposes in this state with the same effect as though it had been entered into in this state.(3) No marriage shall be contracted in this state by a party residing and intending to continue to reside in another state or jurisdiction, if such marriage would be void if contracted in such other state or jurisdiction and every marriage celebrated in this state in violation of this provision shall be null and void.

765.30 Penalties-(1) The following may be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 9 months or both:(a) Penalty for marriage outside the state to circumvent the laws. Any person residing and intending to continue to reside in this state who goes outside the state and there contracts a marriage prohibited or declared void under the laws of this state.

No marriage license or recognition, no other relationship or its recognition from other jurisdictions for same-sex couples.

When this amendment passed all hope seemed lost that equal rights and marriage for gays, lesbians, etc. in Wisconsin would be granted. Now, there is a different President, and Vice President. Democrats have control in the Senate and the House in Federal government and more Democrats have also taken over in Wisconsin State
government. Our hopes to get this amendment repealed someday and have equal rights have been restored. But we need more people standing up and standing out here in Wisconsin. We need your help. Please get involved in any way you can to help.

Let me remind readers that Loving v. Virginia 1967 was a similar case in which an interracial couple had crossed Virginia states lines to marry and were arrested upon their return.

Please visit Kim @ and give her your support:

1 comment:

Kim Schultz said...

It is so wonderful of you to do this article. More people do need to see how cruelly Wisconsin and other states treat their own people when these bans are in place. People need alot more details about what is being voted on and how it will affect peoples lives and just how fairly will people be treated.