The governor of Illinois is urging the neighboring state of Wisconsin to lift its ban on marriage equality, reports FOX 6.
Governor Pat Quinn made his case on August 4 at the annual conference of the National Governors Association in Milwaukee. He argued that the Midwestern region— comprised of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois—should serve as a unified example of equal rights for the rest of the country.
“We don’t want folks in Iowa or Minnesota having more rights than people in Wisconsin or Illinois. It just isn’t fair,” Quinn said. “It’s important that we show our country and the world that marriage equality is all about fairness.”
The governor’s remarks follow the recent passage of marriage equality in Minnesota last week. Iowa, meanwhile, became the nation’s third state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2009. Quinn, who approved civil unions in Illinois in 2011, is currently advocating for the passage of a marriage equality bill within his own state legislature.
In Wisconsin, same-sex couples have had the right to obtain a civil union since a domestic partnership plan was signed by former governor Jim Doyle in 2009. However, a popular vote instituted a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2006, prohibiting Wisconsin gay couples from achieving full marriage equality.
Although a recent poll has shown a shift in popular support toward same-sex marriage in Wisconsin (46% is now in favor), governor Scott Walker contended that he does not envision the ban being lifted in the near future.
"To change anything in the constitution ... it requires two consecutive sessions of the legislature, and ultimately, a vote of the people,” said Walker, also speaking at the Milwaukee conference. “I just don't see that as being anything that's going to be addressed anytime soon."