July 11, 2005

Gay marriage politics in Wisconsin.

The Capital Times takes a look at the looming battle over an anti-gay marriage amendment to the Wisconsin constitution:
With 16 months to go before an expected vote on a state constitutional ban on gay marriage, groups on both sides of the issue are gearing up for a major fight....

Both sides expect a large turnout for the vote since several high-profile races will also be on the ballot that November, including the re-election battles of Gov. Jim Doyle, Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, all state Assembly representatives and half the state Senate....

Nationally, Wisconsin is considered a bellwether state because ban opponents here will have considerable lead time to mount an aggressive campaign to stop the amendment.

Other states have rushed such amendments to the ballot, but Wisconsin law requires that proposed constitutional amendments win legislative approval twice before winning a place on the ballot....

The Wisconsin legislature has approved the proposed ban once, in March 2004, and would need to pass it again before the end of the legislative session next June.
That two-vote requirement is a good safeguard, don't you think?

If the second legislative vote does send the question on to us voters, it will be quite interesting to see how that affects the race for governor and the fight over Kohl's Senate seat. I assume that hot-button issue will provoke a lot of extra people to vote, but it's not clear at all which side of the spectrum will gain more.


Dirty Harry said...

Is Kohl safe? Has a real opponent shown up? Just curious. Wisconsin seems to be trending Republican again with the slimmer Bush margin in 04.

I may have to move back and move things along.

Ann Althouse said...

Daly regards Kohl's seat as safe -- on the ground that you can't beat something with nothing. It seems pathetic that the Republicans can field a good candidate, but I'd hate to see them come up with someone designed to please the anti-gay marriage crowd.

Dirty Harry said...

I'd hate that too. I worked closely with the Wisconsin Log Cabin Republicans when I ran a State Senate campaign there in 96. It would be the worst kind of politics and betray a lot of good people. It's also a losing strategy.

Sounds like nothing's changed since 96. The party was a disaster then and we had the Governor's office. Probably worse now.

Sloanasaurus said...

It is ridiculous that there has to be referendums to "ban" gay marriage when there is no statute allowing gay marriage to begin with. Instead someone should submit a bill to allow gay marriage and the legislature should vote it up or down.

Unfortunately, everyone knows why these referendums are being offered.... activist elitist judges.

Dirty Harry said...

I don't mind the gay marriage ballot. That's citizens taking a vote and a positive thing. An anti-gay politician is something completely different.

The best thing about the marriage ballot is when those activist elitist judges overturn them.

There's nothing that needs more reform in this country than the judicial system. Anything judges do to discredit themselves and overreach (yet again) is a good thing. It helps the revolution. These robed dictators have got to go.

Kathleen B. said...

"activist elitist judges"

like Earl Warren I suppose.

Sean E said...

Peggy Hill: "Did a woman judge ruin the supreme court?"

Hank Hill: "Yes,
and that woman's name was Earl Warren."

Sorry, I know something similar had been posted here before but it just seemed so relevant after kathleen's comment.