Green Bay Pro & Con

The Green Bay Press Gazette ran opposing viewpoints about the amendment this week. Camille Solberg argued for the amendment. She uses the, "Let the people have their say," argument, which is a smokescreen for the discriminatory rationale behind the amendment. It also assumes "the people" really want to see this issue prioritized above all others as a constitutional amendment.

Mike Fitzpatrick, the longest-serving Action Wisconsin board member, wrote against the civil unions and marriage ban:
Those of you who recognize me might ask why I find this issue important. I am a single, gay man without a dinner date, no less a marriage prospect on my calendar. But the language of this proposed amendment simply goes too far and will hurt real people. People I know.

Even with thousands of dollars worth of privately drafted legal documents, simple benefits granted by civil recognition of same-sex unions, such as bereavement leave, health insurance under one policy for the household or family memberships, are typically impossible to obtain.

Things go from bad to worse should someone die. In my 20-plus years of work as an HIV/AIDS case manager, I have dealt with a number of horrors happening to surviving halves of gay and other unmarried couples by "in-laws" who they believed were loving and supportive of their relationships.

In one case, a supposedly grieving mother left the graveside internment to join pre-arranged movers to empty the possessions of her late son's home. One of those items was a baby grand piano given as an anniversary gift to his surviving partner in her presence five years earlier. The deceased's will predated the gift.

Outside of my work life, I know friends with similar stories. One friend came home from work to find the locks had been changed by his partner's children on the home he shared with his late partner, who had died suddenly. It took an intervention with attorneys for the friend to obtain his own checkbook and credit cards.
Mike has told me he already received a number of thoughtful emails from Green Bay residents who agree with him--including from self-identified Republicans.


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A Fair Wisconsin Votes No
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