What You Might Not Know About the Ban

We all know the civil unions and marriage ban will deeply affect gay and lesbian people. Just about everyone who has heard about it knows that it would permanently deny marriage to same-sex couples. And as we continued to spread the word about the ban, more and more people are learning that it would also permanently deny civil unions.

But what a lot of people don’t know is that the broad language of the ban will endanger any form of legal protections for all unmarried couples in the state—whether they are gay or straight.

Bans similar to the one the Assembly is voting on this Tuesday are being used to overturn domestic violence protections, child custody issues, and domestic partner benefits.

Some examples of what has happened in other states:
  • In Ohio, judges have dismissed domestic violence cases brought against men who abused their girlfriends, simply because they were not married.
  • The Michigan attorney general has ruled that their ban overturns domestic partner policies for state and local government employees.
  • A Utah attorney is claiming the ban there invalidates a restraining order taken out against a man by his ex-girlfriend.
  • A court in Ohio is being asked to void a child custody agreement between a same-sex couple.
A number of public employers in Wisconsin--from La Crosse to Milwaukee to Sun Prairie--currently offer domestic partner benefits, and those would undoubtedly be challenged in court. The City of Madison Attorney, the Dane County Corporation Counsel, the Madison Common Council, and the Milwaukee Common Council have all spoken out against the ban because they fear it would overturn existing domestic partner policies.

I know we've been saying it a lot (and will continue to do so), but this is the last vote in the Legislature before the ban goes to a statewide ballot in November. If you haven't already, now is the time to urge your Assembly representative to Vote No, and ask your friends and family to do the same.



At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I'm reading this right you are saying it is ok for gays to live together and have a civil union. I'm sorry I never have and never will agree with this.


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