Wisconsin Family Action Reacts to 7th Circuit’s Ruling on Marriage

Court says Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment is unconstitutional

WFA LogoMADISON—Today the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment, ruling it unconstitutional, just nine days after oral arguments.

“We are deeply disappointed but not surprised at this ruling,” said Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling. We knew we had the most liberal panel of judges on the 7th Circuit. When they denied the state’s request to have the case heard before all ten judges on the court, we pretty much knew what to expect.”

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on Wisconsin’s marriage protection amendment and Indiana’s marriage law last Tuesday in Chicago.

“I was in the courtroom last Tuesday. I knew then what the outcome was going to be. Judge Posner in particular made his opinion quite clear. His clarity took a backseat only to his sarcasm,” Appling noted.

The opinion affirmed District Judge Barbara Crabb’s ruling and judgment, which means that the stay on removing the amendment remains in place while the case works its way through the appeals process. Wisconsin Attorney General JB Van Hollen has publicly indicated that the state will appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court.

Twenty states have had similar rulings. Already the 4th, 6th and 10th Circuit Courts of Appeal are either petitioning the US Supreme Court to take their cases or will be soon.

“We’ve known all along these cases from all across the country would end up at the US Supreme Court. Apparently the 7th Circuit wants to get in at the front of the line on that process,” Appling commented.

Yesterday a federal judge in Louisiana issued a ruling affirming that state’s marriage protection amendment.

Appling commented, “We finally have a federal judge with courage, common sense and an understanding of the law—one that is not in the pocket of a small minority of people that are determined to redefine and thereby deconstruct society’s most important institution. That’s hopeful as we head to the highest court in the land.

“The struggle to preserve and protect traditional marriage is far from over. This ruling does not change the fact that a marriage of one man and one woman is the healthiest, most prosperous, and most stable place not only for the man and woman but also for the children they may bring into the world. The ruling is a denial of reality. While every marriage may not have children, every child has both a mother and father. This ruling denies children of either a mother or a father. Our organization will continue to aggressively take the message everywhere across this state that marriage between a man and woman is good not only for the individuals in a given marriage, but is also good for Wisconsin,” Appling concluded.

New Wisconsin Coalition Pushing Acceptance of Same-Sex “Marriage”

Homosexual activists have begun a push in The Badger State to “educate” citizens on why same-sex “marriage” would be good for the state.  The ACLU, Fair Wisconsin, and Freedom to Marry have formed a coalition to hold events across the state to try to gain support for their position.  This in spite of the fact that in a 2006 vote, nearly 60% of Wisconsin voters voted to keep marriage in our state between one man and one woman.  This past June, a lone federal judged ruled that state constitutional amendment violates the US constitution.  That decision is being appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals with oral arguments scheduled for August 26 in Chicago.

WFA president Julaine Appling notes, “People have a right to form coalitions, spend money and get their message out, even those wanting to redefine, and thereby deconstruct our state’s most important institution.  The question is, do those of us who know the truth about why marriage between one man and one woman is a public good care as much about getting our message out as do those who oppose God’s plan We, too, must put our time and our money into making sure people know the truth.”

>>>>>read more about this coalition HERE

What you can do:

  • Talk with others about marriage, the importance of traditional marriage, and God’s plan for this sacred institution.
  • Hold a Bible study, or encourage others to gather for a study, to learn more about marriage God’s way.
  • Pray for those who are seeking to tear apart marriage as between one man and one woman.
  • Download, read, and share our newest publication, Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition, to learn more about the benefits of marriage in our state and the harmful effects of marriage breakdown in our society, and across the nation.

WFA Prez Appling Responds to Judge’s Ruling Placing Same-Sex “Marriage” On Hold in Wisconsin

Press release from Wisconsin Family Action:

Federal Judge Brings Some Order to the Chaos

MADISON—Late today US District Judge Barbara Crabb granted Attorney General JB Van Hollen’s request for a stay on her order regarding the redefinition of marriage in Wisconsin. The judge also clarified her previous order as written in her original ruling issued last Friday. That ruling unilaterally declared Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment unconstitutional, thus trouncing on the votes of over 1.6 million Wisconsin citizens who approved the amendment in November 2006. Her injunction today ordered county clerks to issue marriage licenses to couples of the same sex. Her stay, however, means that the marriage amendment restricting marriage to one man and one woman remains in place for the duration of the judicial proceedings on this matter.

WFA president Julaine Appling

WFA president Julaine Appling

“While I disagree totally with Judge Crabb’s ruling in this case, I am pleased that she at least put a stop to the chaos that ensued from her original vague order in this matter. It is altogether appropriate that this stay be ordered while this case works its way through the appeals process,” stated Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action (WFA), and one of four other WFA board members who filed a “friend-of-the-court” brief in this case. “Judge Crabb’s ambiguity and vagueness in her original order has caused undue and absolutely unnecessary turmoil in our state.

“The rule of law has seemed to be merely some pesky summer insect to many in our state who have urged county clerks to issue the licenses, in spite of what Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has directed. This judge, in concert with those determined to redefine society’s foundational institution of marriage, turned Wisconsin from being a state where the law is respected into a place where apparently everyone, especially elected county clerks, can do that which is right in his own eyes. Fortunately, today we have clarity which should bring an end to the confusion. Clerks who persist in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples will be doing so in clear violation of the judge’s order.”

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has already appealed the decision to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. That court has ordered both sides to submit briefs supporting their position of whether the appeals court should take the case. In light of Judge Crabb’s order and stay today, it would seem the way is cleared for that court to now take the case.

“As disturbing as all of the legal gyrations have been in this case, what disturbs us most is Judge Crabb’s decision regarding the amendment and what she said about marriage in her opinion. She made some breathtaking pronouncements that must be challenged. As amici, we are today releasing a response to some specific aspects of the Judge’s ruling.” continued Appling.

Wisconsin Family Action’s response to Judge Crabb’s ruling is available HERE.

With the Stroke of a Pen, Wisconsin Voters Silenced on Marriage

“What happened to ‘We the People?” asks Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling in a press release that went out last Friday, June 6, shortly after the ruling from U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb (Western District Court) that deemed Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment unconstitutional and opened the door for “same-sex marriages” to go full-steam ahead throughout the state.

  • Read Wisconsin Family Action’s full press release HERE.
  • Listen to the podcast of Julaine Appling as she addresses the attack on marriage across our nation on WVCY’s Crosstalk America HERE.

Since Wisconsin’s county clerks have neither been mandated nor barred from issuing same-sex “marriage licenses,” they appear to be spinning in circles as they try to determine how to react to this decision that left no directive.  At last report, just over half of the counties in Wisconsin are issuing the paperwork, yet others are waiting for guidance from state Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen before taking any action.  Many clerks have publicly stated they have no idea what to do about the signature blocks on the paperwork that read “husband” and “wife” and feel they must wait for the appropriate paperwork to be provided.

Since Crabb’s ruling did not mandate county clerks to issue the homosexual “marriage” licenses, it was left up to each individual county to decide how to interpret the ruling and act accordingly. Crabb was reported to have said she was waiting for the ACLU to “draft an order for her spelling out how the organization wants her decision implemented,”

In the meantime, the State Department of Health Services (DOHS) is not processing the same-sex “marriage” licenses and have them on “hold” until more direction is given from the attorney general’s office.  The DOHS made it clear that there are no promises being made that the “marriage” licenses issued to same-sex couples will be accepted.

ImageSound confusing?  We agree. The confusion and chaos continues because of a very small but very loud and very well-organized and well-funded minority wants its way, a way that stands to ultimately undermine the foundational institution of marriage.  In this case they seem to be very much aided and abetted by a liberal, activist federal judge–and many ELECTED county clerks.

What does it all mean?  Julaine Appling says, “With a single stroke of a single arrogant and liberal activist federal judge, marriage in Wisconsin was turned on its head and the will of the people was trumped.”

That’s not all; there’s much more to say regarding the ruling that overturned Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment and the will of the Badger State’s voters.  Read the rest of Julaine’s commentary HERE.

Incidentally, the ruling came just before the scheduled weekend event in Milwaukee, “PrideFest.”

Drumbeats, Marriage, Judges and the Truth

From the desk of Julaine Appling, Wisconsin Family Action president:

When I started working at Wisconsin Family Council in late 1997, the drumbeat for redefining marriage to include persons of the same-sex was just beginning.  It was faint and slow.  Already, however, this organization had as early as March 1996, worked with state legislators to try to put language in our state statutes to clearly restrict marriage in Wisconsin to what it has always been:  one man and one woman.

For five consecutive legislative sessions, marriage protection wording was introduced.  Not until 2003, were we successful in getting the statutory language passed in both the Assembly and the Senate.  Within two days of the Senate approving the bill, Governor Doyle vetoed it in its entirety.  Courageous legislators in the Assembly attempted to override the Governor’s veto and fell one vote short.

Just days later in mid-November 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judiciary issued a ruling that declared restricting marriage to one man and one woman violated the state’s constitution.  That ruling provided the impetus for legislators in Wisconsin to introduce in January 2004 language that would provide the very best legal protection possible for marriage in The Badger State—a joint resolution that would amend our state’s constitution and required a vote by the electorate.

By early 2006, the resolution had been passed by both houses two times in two consecutive legislative sessions and was ready for the people to vote on in November 2006.

ImageWe worked tirelessly the summer of 2006 telling people the truth about the amendment, countering the outright lies of Fair Wisconsin and others who were bent on defeating this marriage protection amendment.  God blessed and worked in the hearts of people and on Election Day marriage won. Nearly 60% of the people who voted—over 1.6 million Wisconsin citizens—said yes to keeping and protecting marriage as the unique union of one man and one woman in our state.

The amendment, the will of the people and the institution of marriage have been under strong legal fire since that historic day.  The legal maelstrom culminated late this past Friday, June 6, when federal Judge Barbara Crabb issued a ruling declaring Wisconsin’s marriage protection amendment unconstitutional based on the due process and equal protection clauses of the US Constitution.

With the single stroke of a single arrogant and liberal activist federal judge, marriage in Wisconsin was turned on its head and the will of the people was trumped.

Judge Crabb writes about a “fundamental right to marry,” “loving and committed” people and relationships, “equality of citizenship.”  All of those are fabrications of a judge with an agenda.   What these terms fundamentally do is to open wide the door for yet further changes to the foundational societal institution of marriage.  Already polygamists are ramping up to be able to marry, claiming that they too are in “loving and committed” relationships.

Judge Crabb dismisses the unique conjugal nature of man/woman marriage and the benefits these relationships have for children born to or adopted by married couples. She basically says gender is meaningless.  Children don’t need both a mother and a father according to Judge Crabb.

While relatively few Wisconsin citizens will get marriage licenses as same-sex couples, the impact of the ruling will eventually affect all of us.  For starters, schools will be forced to present homosexuality and same-sex “marriage” as being as normal and natural as heterosexuality and opposite-sex marriage.  Religious freedom and individual rights are bound to collide head-on with this so-called “equality in marriage.”  Gender distinctions will become even more meaningless and all of this is just for starters.

I am profoundly sad and disappointed, especially for the good people of Wisconsin who have had absolutely no say whatsoever in all of this.  They have been defrauded with no opportunity to dissent. Those wanting to redefine marriage took the coward’s way out and went whining to the courts rather than observing and respecting the rule of law and attempting to undo the amendment the same way the amendment was put in place, following the rigorous procedure provided in Wisconsin’s governing law.

The drumbeat to redefine marriage is now very strong, very loud and very fast. The drums are in our streets as homosexuals celebrate their victory.  However, we know that in reality as the prophet Isaiah said, “…judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street….”

Wisconsin Family Action Asks, “What Happened to “We, the People?”

Federal judge strikes down WI Marriage Protection Amendment

Press release from Wisconsin Family Action:

MADISON—Today US District Judge Barbara Crabb struck down Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment, ruling it unconstitutional.

“We are deeply disappointed but not surprised at Judge Crabb’s ruling,” said Wisconsin Family AcImagetion President Julaine Appling.  “All over the country federal judges have replaced “We, the people” with “I, the judge” when ruling on state constitutional amendments that define and protect marriage as one man and one woman.  Rather than going through the stringent legislative process required to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot for a vote, radical homosexuals have used the courts to nullify the vote of a majority of Wisconsin citizens as well as those in 26 other states.”

ImageWith a single stroke of a single judge’s pen, marriage has been turned on its head in Wisconsin, effective immediately.  Wisconsin Family Action anticipates a hearing on whether or not the judge will put a stay on her ruling.  It also hopes that Attorney General JB Van Hollen will file a timely appeal of this decision with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The struggle to preserve and protect traditional marriage is far from over and will continue,” said Appling.  “A benighted judge’s ruling cannot change the fact that a marriage of one man and one woman is the healthiest, most prosperous, and most stable place not only for the man and woman but also for the children they may bring into the world.  Trying to destroy an institution that has served and prospered societies for thousands of years is the height of arrogance and a gross pandering to a well organized, well funded, very small minority who, rather than take this important issue to the people of Wisconsin, did an end run around the will of the people.”

Should we be doing yet another social experiment on children? Mom and Dad still best environment

From the desk of Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling:

What’s the best environment for children? That’s a question we had all better be paying attention to, especially lawmakers and other government officials. Our future depends on getting this one right.

It’s not really that hard of a question. People just don’t always like the answer. Social science research shows repeatedly and conclusively that the very best environment for children is to be brought up in the homes of their married moms and dads.

It really doesn’t matter what characteristic you look at. Children from intact mom-and-dad families do better than their peers in other household arrangements and avoid many of the problems that those children frequently encounter.

Children from married mother-father homes are less likely to experience poverty, do better in school, are more likely to finish high school, have better health, are less likely to be physically or sexually abused, are less likely to develop drug or alcohol addictions, are less likely to become sexually active at early ages, are likely to earn more, are more likely to go on for higher education, and are less likely to themselves divorce. That’s just a sampling of the conclusions social science again and again and again determines from their studies.

Extrapolating from this information, we can properly assume that children from intact, married mom-and-dad homes grow up, on average, to be good citizens, givers more than takers, strong contributors to their own families and communities, and skilled and good workers.

If government is concerned about anything, it should be concerned about the next generation of workers, taxpayers, leaders, entrepreneurs, creative geniuses, teachers and more. It’s the next generation that will one day pay the bills—and the debt—that government generates.

Apparently, however, government is willing to ignore the data that continues to pour in regarding what is best for children. Their policies and positions certainly would indicate that is the case. For instance, while no reliable study and data show that children brought up in the homes of two men or two women do as well as children brought up in the homes of married men and women, the government, including judges, keep touting that this household structure is just fine for children.

Some argue that given enough time, the data will change and will show what they want it to show—that children in same-sex households do just as well—or even better—than children in married mom-and-dad families. I don’t believe that reliable, reputable research will ever show that; but beyond that, I don’t think we should be doing yet another social experiment on children. Haven’t we learned the hard way from no-fault divorce?

I guess not since there continues to be an aggressive push to make all forms of households equal when it comes to children.

Mom and DadAt the State Republican Convention a couple of weeks ago, a resolution entitled “Family Values and Sanctity of Human Life.” In that resolution, there were some excellent statements made about life and about religious freedom. Also included was this statement: “Be it further resolved, that marriage between a man and a woman is the best environment to raise children and to teach them the values and morals required to maintain a free society.”

When the resolution came to the floor, a delegate rose and identified himself as being a representative from the Log Cabin Republicans, the pro-homosexual subset of the Republican Party. He wanted to amend this part of the resolution to say, “a household with two parents in a committed relationship is the best environment to raise children.” It’s pretty obvious what he was trying to do—have the party endorse same-sex relationships and same-sex adoption. An interesting debate ensued. Some rose to support this delegate’s amendment, but many others rose to voice their opposition.

Fortunately, in the end the amendment was defeated and the resolution was resoundingly passed and is now part of the Republican Party of Wisconsin’s official party platform. However, it’s the first time I know of where the Log Cabin Republicans were that visible and vocal at the convention and also the first time there has been an overt, from-the-floor attempt to change the state Republican Party’s position on this foundational issue. I’m grateful the majority of the delegates stood strong, recognizing that what is truly best for children, but I do consider this a shot across the bow that some in the state GOP are pushing hard for a very dangerous change to the party’s position.

What shows up in a party platform is meaningless unless those who are elected wholeheartedly agree and enact policies that strengthen, preserve and promote the kind of family structures that are truly best for our future because they are best for children.