La Crosse, Appleton, River Falls, oh my!

As Republican legislators rush the amendment through the legislative process, Action Wisconsin fanned out across the state with emergency community action meetings.

Yesterday, groups convened in Appleton and La Crosse to discuss what steps to take in the next few days as legislators contemplate the proposed amendment. Tonight, we host meetings in Eau Claire and Green Bay.

Along with yesterday's community meetings, Ingrid and I headed north to River Falls for a Training to Stop the Ban. The training was co-sponsored by a network of well-organized and energetic groups including the Pierce and St Croix Counties Democrats, and the UW-River Falls GSA, Diversity Awareness Committee, and College Democrats. Many thanks go to these groups and other local leaders for continuing to inform their communities about the harms of the amendment.

This training was our 16th in our 12th community. Our trained speakers now number 592 statewide (it was good to see many of them at the hearing on Tuesday!).

Last night, we again found in our River Falls friends a very strong sense of community, energy, and perseverance. Those present take this issue very seriously– they see the effects of the denial of marriage equality in their own lives or those of their friends.

One woman came up to me afterwards and told me why she had come to the training.

Some 20+ years ago she and her husband lived together for eight years prior to getting married. During this period, they felt very consciously the vulnerability of their relationship and their lives. They took very deliberate action and spent lots of money to piece together legal protections such as living wills and powers of attorney. During those long eight years they were on pins and needles: exposed and at risk at every turn of losing some part of the lives they were building together.

Tears welled up in her eyes: she couldn’t believe how hard it would be to have to spend--as gay and lesbian couples currently do-- their entire lives together under such strain and vulnerability.

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