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article imageSame-sex marriage to remain illegal in Wisconsin

By Andrew John     Jun 30, 2010 in Lifestyle
Same-sex marriage will remain illegal in Wisconsin, after the state’s Supreme Court upheld an earlier ban on both gay marriage and civil unions.
The 7–0 decision came today, with judges ruling that the previous constitutional amendment was legal and proper.
A lawsuit had been filed by a voter – William McConkey of Baileys Harbor – who was opposed to the ban, saying that it “violated a rule limiting constitutional amendments to a single subject,” says
“The [referendum] question asked voters whether marriage should be limited to one man and one woman and whether to outlaw any ‘legal status identical or substantially similar’ to marriage for same-sex couples,” says the report. “Nearly 60 percent of voters approved.”
But the lawsuit claimed that the amendment was two-pronged, and could have resulted in two different results, because the 2006 referendum asked whether gay marriage should be outlawed and whether civil unions should be similarly banned.
Legal definition of marriage
But the report goes on: “Writing for the majority, Justice Michael Gableman rejected that argument. He said both parts of the question had the same general subject: preserving the current legal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.”
Gableman’s judgment continues: “The first sentence preserves the one man–one woman character of marriage by so limiting marriages entered into or recognized in Wisconsin. The second sentence, by its plain terms, ensures that no legislature, court or any other government entity can get around the first sentence by creating or recognizing ‘a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage’.”
Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen is quoted as saying the referendum result was “the will of the people” and that McConkey didn’t have legal standing to bring the lawsuit.
McConkey tried to get his case past a Dane County judge in 2008, but the judge threw out his claim. However, the Supreme Court agreed last year to hear the case because of the significant nature of the matters raised in it.
More about Same-sex marriage, Wisconsin, Gay marriage, Supreme court, Gay
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