Scroll To Top

lawmakers approve same-sex marriage ban

lawmakers approve same-sex marriage ban


The state senate approves an amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions, arguing it is necessary to ensure marriage remains a union between one man and one woman.

The Wisconsin state senate approved an amendment to ban same-sex marriage and Vermont-style civil unions on Wednesday over objections that it could strip unmarried couples of health care benefits and other legal recognitions. Supporters countered that those concerns are overblown and maintained that the amendment would ensure marriage in Wisconsin would remain a union between one man and one woman while allowing room for future lawmakers to grant limited benefits to unmarried couples.

The amendment prevents "judges or the state from creating marriage in another name and granting identical benefits" to unmarried couples, according to amendment sponsor Sen. Scott Fitzgerald.

The senate voted 19-14 to approve the amendment, leaving only a vote in the assembly before the proposal could go to the public for a final vote. The assembly is expected to pass it easily after the first of the year, with an expected statewide referendum in November.

Wisconsin law already defines marriage as a union between a man and a wife. The proposed amendment states: "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."

Much of Wednesday's debate centered on the second sentence. Sen. Tim Carpenter, one of two out gay state lawmakers, tried to alter the amendment to strip that language, maintaining it would have effects far beyond its intended purpose. That includes threatening the ability of unmarried couples to visit partners in the hospital and restricting their inheritance rights and their access to health care benefits.

After lawmakers rejected those moves, Carpenter proposed amendments to prohibit divorcees and adulterers from marrying, which he argued was a much greater threat to the institution of marriage than a union between two gay people. "The second sentence creates second-class citizens," said Carpenter. (AP)

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff