Delegates take the vote at their party convention over the weekend at Wisconsin Dells to support gay marriage as part of their platform — the day after a federal judge strikes down Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban.
Mike Tate is chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party. “No longer is hate and discrimination enshrined in our state Constitution.”
Democrats reacting to the news are jubilant, including the nation’s first openly gay U.S. Senator — Tammy Baldwin. “We didn’t need a federal judge to tell us that love is love, that family is family,” and she says, “Discriminating against anyone’s love, against anyone’s family is just plain wrong.”
State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milwaukee) is an openly bisexual member of Wisconsin’s legislature. “I’m elated. This is a great moment for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Wisconsinites everywhere.” Zamarripa adds, “I was in the LGBT caucus when the news broke and it couldn’t have been more poetic.”
AUDIO: State Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) reacts to the news. :24
Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban was amended to the state Constitution in 2006. Same-sex couples in Madison and Milwaukee were getting marriage licenses just minutes after US. District Judge Barbara Crabb declared the ban unconstitutional, though, it’s unclear if and when the ban could be reinstated.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is filing emergency motions in federal court to put on hold Crabb’s order.
There have been 146 marriage licenses issued in Milwaukee County to same-sex couples, and 138 marriages in Madison (Dane County) through Saturday.
Madison Bishop Robert Morlino says he’s “deeply saddened” by the judge’s decision. In a statement, he adds, “First, it bears repeating that, we must respect, love, and care for every individual we encounter, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or how they define themselves. … Marriage is, and can only ever be, a unique relationship solely between one man and one woman, regardless of the decision of a judge or any vote. … In striking down the constitutional amendment in our state which protects marriage, the court has, once again, shaken one of the most precious and essential building blocks of our civilization.”
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:30