Wisconsin assembly passes defense of marriage act
October 25 2003 12:00 AM ET
Marriage would be defined as a contract between a man and a woman under legislation the Wisconsin assembly passed Thursday over the objections of opponents who argued that the bill is meant to discriminate against gay men and lesbians. Lawmakers passed the bill 68-29, sending it to the state senate. Wisconsin law already defines marriage as a contract between a husband and wife, but the bill's authors said judges could interpret that language loosely and redefine marriage. Rep. Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin) said the legislation is needed to "leave nothing to the imagination of very creative judges" who may seek to redefine marriage. He said 37 other states have passed similar bills. "If you vote against this bill, it is because you want same-sex marriage legalized in this state," Gundrum said. But Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison), who is openly gay, said the bill, called the Defense of Marriage Act, is intended to bash gay men and lesbians.