Despite Majority Opposition, WI Dems Propose Bill to Repeal Marriage Protection Amendment


Wisconsin Democrats have introduced LRB−0414/1, Repealing Constitutional Amendment Re: Marriage.

ImageAccording to a Legislative Memo that went out from Senator Tim Carpenter’s (D-Milwaukee) office and a 10 a.m. press conference :

Subject: Co-sponsor LRB−0414/1 Repealing Constitutional Amendment Re Marriage
To:              All Legislators
From:    Senator Tim Carpenter
                Senator Kathleen Vinehout
Senator Mark Miller
Representative JoCasta Zamarripa
Representative Chris Taylor
Representative Melissa Sargent
Re:      Co-sponsor LRB−0414/1 Repealing Constitutional Amendment Re Marriage
Very Short Deadline:  Noon, February 13, 2014
We are proposing to put to a vote of the citizens of Wisconsin a change in our state constitution that would repeal the prohibition on marriage equality and civil unions.  
In a 2006 a referendum passed by 59% of the voters, Wisconsin’s Constitution was amended to exclude same-sex couples from marriage and prohibit same-sex couples from attaining any other form of legal family status.
In less than a decade, support for and laws regarding marriage equality have increased dramatically, as highlighted by:
  • In 2013, a Marquette University Poll showed that for the first time, a majority of Wisconsinites now support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
  • As of January 2014, seventeen states California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, have legalized same-sex marriage, Wisconsin will become an island surrounded by states that legalize same-sex marriage;
  • The United States Supreme Court has issued decisions that struck down a law that barred federal benefits for same-sex couples;
  • Military service members no longer have to hide their sexual orientation in order to continue honorably serving our country, and some have married their partners, in uniform;
  • Prominent national political figures from both political parties now support marriage equality; and
  • Businesses now argue that a state’s welcoming of same-sex couples is essential to help recruiting and retaining the best young talent. 
A growing majority of Wisconsinites believe that the Marriage Amendment does not reflect their belief in how the state should recognize our families.  We believe that it is time to let the people of our state the opportunity to remove unwanted constitutional barriers to marriage equality. 
If you would like to sign onto LRB 0414, please contact my office by Noon today, February 13, 2014 at 6-8535 or by return of this email.  A copy of the LRB is attached.  Representative Jocasta Zamarripa will be introducing a companion LRB in the Assembly.  Unless requested otherwise, legislators who sign on to LRB 0414 will automatically be signed on to the Assembly companion.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This constitutional amendment, proposed to the 2013 legislature on first consideration, eliminates the constitutional restriction that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state and the provision that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of a marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state. A proposed constitutional amendment requires adoption by two successive legislatures, and ratification by the people, before it can become effective.





In 2006, Wisconsin’s voters overwhelmingly (nearly 60%) voted in favor of the Marriage Protection Amendment which clearly defines marriage as “between one man and one woman” and prohibits the state from recognizing “a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals.”  Despite the affirmation that Wisconsinites do not want marriage redefined, Democratic Senators appear determined to make efforts to change Wisconsin’s constitution to legalize homosexual “marriage.”

During this Marriage Week, while our nation and state celebrate the God-ordained union of a man and a woman, our own state senators, as well as the ACLU, are busy attacking traditional marriage in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling is not surprised by the proposed bill or the ACLU lawsuit and states, “We believe our Marriage Protection Amendment language is strong and will withstand constitutional scrutiny.”


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