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Marriage Equality

Wis. Governor's Son Witness at Cousin's Same-Sex Wedding

Wis. Governor's Son Witness at Cousin's Same-Sex Wedding


Gov. Scott Walker doesn't have much to say about marriage equality these days, but his son is apparently supportive.

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is a longtime opponent of marriage equality, although recently mum about his position, but his son was a witness at the marriage of two women last month -- and one of the brides is a cousin of Walker's wife.

Alex Walker, 19, was a witness at the wedding of Shelli Marquardt and Cathy Priem at the Waukesha County Courthouse, located in a suburb of Milwaukee, June 9, reports the Milwaukee Jounal Sentinel. Alex Walker signed his name on the couple's marriage certificate as one of two adult witnesses to their union. Marquardt is a cousin of Scott Walker's wife, Tonette.

Lauren Patrick, a spokeswoman for the governor, confirmed to the paper that the younger Walker attended the ceremony. "Shelli Marquardt is the first lady's cousin," Patrick said in a statement. "She is a part of the Walker family who they dearly love." Marquardt and Priem are on the guest list for an Independence Day celebration at the governor's mansion Sunday, the Journal Sentinel reports.

The marriage came in the brief window when most Wisconsin counties were licensing same-sex marriages after a federal judge struck down the state's ban on such unions. Judge Barbara Crabb found the ban unconstitutional June 6, then a week later halted the marriages while her ruling is appealed.

Scott Walker, a conservative Republican with presidential aspirations, has long opposed marriage equality, but since the court ruling has been quiet about his position. During a June 12 press conference, reporters asked him if he had changed his stance, he responded, "No. I'm just not stating one at all," the Journal Sentinel notes.

Also, last November he told BuzzFeed that Alex and his older brother, Matt, have said perhaps government should get out of the marriage business. He called that "a solid argument" although he "personally may not embrace that yet." And in a Meet the Press appearance earlier in 2013, he quickly changed the subject when the conversation turned to marriage equality.

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