A major LGBT advocacy group is disappointed in the state Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a ban on gay marriage. The ban is a result of a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2006 but later challenged by a UW-Oshkosh professor. William McConkey claimed the questions of banning gay marriage and any similar union should have been voted on separately.
The legal opinion written by freshman justice Michael Gableman notes the decision centers on the legal challenge of how the referendum language was laid out rather than whether or not the ban is sound public policy. The court found the two questions were close enough in subject matter it could compromise the same amendment
Katie Belanger, Executive Director of Fair Wisconsin, says the organization is “disappointed” but “respects the court’s decision.”
The high court upheld a Dane County Circuit ruling and cited precedent cases as well. “The case history on the single subject rule is fairly convoluted and has only been applied for the past 100 years or so. So we’re not surprised the decision came down the way it did,” says Belanger.
The Supreme Court’s decision makes it very clear that to repeal the gay marriage ban they will have to focus on the legislature, says Belanger. To repeal a constitutional amendment a measure must pass two consecutive legislative sessions and then go to a statewide ballot initiative.