A Case of Cold Feet?

I’ve always assumed there are two camps of lawmakers who support the civil unions and marriage ban. The small group who truly believe it will “save marriage.” And the much larger group who believe it’s a smart political strategy. Lately, for those in the latter group, the amendment isn’t looking like such a clear win.

As more Wisconsinites grapple with the far-reaching consequences of the ban and the impact it will have on their neighbors, they oppose it. They might not be passionate advocates for gay concerns, but they don’t want to get behind this extreme amendment.

I also suspect more people are growing tired--or are at least skeptical--of having this issue raised every time there’s an election. Especially when lawmakers aren’t doing enough to address the everyday concerns that matter most to voters.

A week ago, Assembly Republicans put out a press release detailing their 2006 agenda. On the roster: taxes, health care, and jobs. Not on the roster: the only issue that’s been prioritized as a constitutional question for the 2006 election.

Why do they conceal this significant part of their agenda?

The Assembly Republican leadership wants to tell a selective story to the general public. They very much want a part of their base to know the civil unions and marriage ban is a top agenda item. But they’re getting nervous that too many other people will see how extreme they’ve become.

A number of the “political strategy” camp of lawmakers have said they support the amendment merely because they want to “let the people decide.” This is a transparent attempt to have it both ways. It lets lawmakers support the amendment but not on the merits of what it would actually do. But of course they fail to explain why a ban on civil unions and marriage should be the only public policy issue voters get to decide this year.

But okay, if we take the “let the people decide” assertion at face value, then what’s the hold up?

It’s been 62 days since the state Senate passed the ban, yet still no word from Assembly Republican leadership on when they’ll vote for final approval.

If they’re serious about making this a major statewide conversation, why hasn’t the Assembly voted yet? Why are lawmakers dragging their feet?

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At 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think we should be okay with the, "let the people decide" assertion.
The majority should never be allowed to decide the civil rights of a minority. If that had been the case for African Americans, they would probably still be picking cotton.

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Julie said...

Or, to expand on that, African-Americans wouldn't be allowed to marry white Americans.

I know a lot of people who do not support this ban, but I can bet that they won't even both to vote come November.

I find it very upsetting that the Republicans who have done nothing but promote the anti-gay amendment and concealed carry dare to act as if they have the average Wisconsinite in mind when they pass out their bloated agenda.

Besides, they've had contol all through 2005 and they didn't put taxes, healthcare and jobs on the forefront, why should we believe they will in 2006?


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