High Praise For Our Campaign

Earlier this month, John Nichols wrote an opinion piece on the proposed amendment that would ban civil unions and marriage for lesbian and gay couples.

He had loads of praise for the work we’re doing to stop the amendment, and boosted my already high confidence that come November 2006, a majority of Wisconsinites will stand up for fairness and Vote No on the amendment.

Nichols wrote that Republican leaders in the Legislature, who are using this issue to draw socially conservative voters to the polls may be in for a surprise. He goes on:
Amendments and laws of this kind have passed in other states. But last year in Oregon, a state that like Wisconsin has a strong progressive and socially libertarian tradition, the margin was far closer than expected. And Action Wisconsin, the group that is leading the opposition to the amendment here, will have had two more years to organize than did civil rights activists in Oregon.

Action Wisconsin is doing things right. It has made the case that the amendment is not needed, since state law already bars same-sex marriage. But it has also recognized that realism and logic do not always prevail in debates of this kind, so it has built a broad coalition of opposition to the amendment as was evidenced by the diverse, well-prepared and highly effective voices that were raised at last week's joint hearing of the Assembly and Senate Judiciary committees. Especially well represented have been the voices of religious leaders, who have done a very good job of making the moral argument against what can justifiably be described as a hate amendment.

Action Wisconsin has just hired one of the state's ablest political players, Mike Tate, to manage the campaign against the amendment, and it has already begun one of the savviest and most aggressive grass-roots issue campaigns ever seen in the state.

The fix may be in now. But it could well fall apart by next year. It is not unreasonable to suggest that Wisconsin might be the first state to reject an anti-gay and anti-lesbian proposal of this kind. And the turnout against the amendment could yet upset the best-laid plans of Gard and the other Republicans who are counting on ignorance and fear rather than issues and ideas to elect them next year.

Read the full article here.

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At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I agree that Action Wisconsin is doing a great job, I think we missed the point when it came to the media coverage of the passing of the proposed amendment in the Senate session.

I watched all the Green Bay televsion stations and all had the headlines "Amendment to ban gay marriage" This amendment is not to ban gay marriage, we already do that in this state. It is an amendment to ban civil unions.

We are not going to win if we continue to allow the media using the verbiage of banning gay marriage. We must focus on the ban of civil unions...surveys have shown that more people (in some polls the majority) support civil unions.

Let's make it clear to the media that there is a second sentence in this amendment, and that one more so than the first is the most discriminative and hateful.

Winchester, WI

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Ingrid Ankerson said...

Hi Don, and thanks for the comment. I absolutely agree with you. As the communications team, Josh, Lindsey and I are working hard to educate both the public and the media about the fact that this amendment would ban civil unions as well as marriage (which as you point out, is already banned here). I hope you-- many of you-- will help us with this job by writing to the editor of your local paper and letting them know what you think about their rhetoric on the issue.


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