Fitzgerald Wants to Introduce Amendment Soon

An excerpt from today's La Crosse Tribune about the proposed ban on civil unions and marriage:
Senate sponsor Scott L. Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said in a phone interview he plans to introduce the measure soon. He said this is “not a fight the Wisconsin Legislature picked” but said the “raging national debate” started with the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling allowing marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
Wow. Those gays will stop at nothing. Look at all the gains they have made.

One state in the entire country has made the decision to end discrimination in marriage for gay couples. One state.

On the other hand, marriage for gay couples continues to be illegal in 49 other states. Eighteen of those states have "double banned" marriage by adding the prohibition to their state constitutions.

Before rushing Wisconsinites into making a decision that could be in place for generations, Senator Fitzgerald and other Wisconsin lawmakers should take a closer look at what Massachusetts has learned.

First, contrary to the fears stoked by opponents of equality, civilization as we know it has not come to an end. Thousands of families have been strengthened by having access to the benefits and responsibilities that come with legally recognized marriage. No one has been hurt.

Second, numerous polls have shown that a majority of Massachusetts residents support equal marriage rights. They are the only people in the nation right now who are living every day with gay neighbors, coworkers, and family who are legally married.

And third, even lawmakers who had steadfastly opposed marriage equality have changed their minds. Lawmakers who cosponsored a constitutional ban on marriage in 2004 ended up voting against that same constitutional amendment this past September. Just a few days ago, yet another leading opponent of marriage equality changed his position, saying he's been influenced by the wedding of a gay friend and constituents urging him to focus on other priorities.

It would be wonderful if Senator Fitzgerald would do some homework before forcing a constitutional amendment back onto the legislative agenda in Wisconsin.

He should pick up the phone and talk to lawmakers in Massachusetts who have seen that equal marriage helps many people and hurts no one.

He should get to know the real lesbian and gay couples who live in his district and across the state. If he took the time to learn more, Senator Fitzgerald might change his mind too.

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