A proposed state constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriages in Wisconsin has the support of 45 Republicans and one Democrat who signed on as cosponsors. The measure, formally introduced on Monday, seeks to amend the constitution by declaring "only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state." One of the measure's authors, Rep. Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin), said the amendment would still let state and local governments offer limited benefits to same-sex couples. Rep. Wayne Wood (D-Janesville) was the only Democrat to sign on to the resolution. To become law, the resolution must pass the legislature in two consecutive
sessions and get voter approval in a statewide referendum. The earliest the measure could go before voters is April 2005. A hearing on the resolution was scheduled for Thursday before the assembly
The proposal follows a veto by Gov. Jim Doyle on November 7 of an anti-gay marriage bill that sought to prohibit recognition of all same-sex marriages. "This bill is just another example of the legislature focusing its time and energy on divisive, mean-spirited bills that do nothing to grow Wisconsin's economy, make health care more affordable and accessible, or improve our public schools," Doyle said at the time.