A Debate with Your Sunday Coffee?

If you're in south central Wisconsin, you can check out a debate on the civil unions and marriage ban this Sunday on Channel 3. The debate will air on "For the Record," Neil Heinen's show on state and local politics, at 10am.

I'll be speaking against the ban, along with Pastor Curt Anderson of the First Congregational Chuch of Madison. Speaking on behalf of the ban will be Julaine Appling of the Family Research Institute and Pastor William Bartz of Monona Oaks Community Church.

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At 11:55 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Thanks for the heads-up on the For the Record show. I'm curious what sort of tone the debate will take on over the next few months.

Keep on blogging!

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Joshua Freker said...

We are aiming to run a campaign that appeals to all fair-minded Wisconsinites--from all political stripes, faith backgrounds, etc. This means treating everyone respectfully, avoiding inflammatory rhetoric, and believing in the power or reason to convince people that the ban is bad for Wisconsin.

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Rebecca said...

Caught the debate this morning. Nice job, Joshua!

Good to see some real discussion happening where people can get more than sound bites so they can begin to understand what this amendment really would do.

At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admit I think the other side won this one.

Their arguments, while not based on anything to back them up, were more passionate and urgent. They went right for the gut and for people's fears by talking about the dismantling of marriage as the foundation of society.

Our side didn't come back with asking them how this would happen? We didn't point out that marriage would still exist but would actually be strengthened by allowing more couples to have access to it and that it would strengthen the foundation for stability in Wisconsin.

I know that we must point out the fact that it would ban civil unions, but we should do more than just oppose the amendment on those grounds. We also need a FOR argument - one for why gay couples should be allowed to marry and that Wisconsin can do better than the status quo.

In the end, I think if they can convince people that it might not ban domestic partner rights, their other arguments will completely overwhelm them into voting for the amendment...unless we can push back just as hard.

Nice job of keeing yourself composed, Josh. Not sure if I could have done that myself.

At 12:17 PM, Blogger Doris said...

I couldn't disagree with the above poster. I thought the "No" side did wonderfully. Again and again, Josh and Curt hammered home the unfairness of this amendment. When Josh brought up the couple in Eau Claire Julaine could barely stumble out an answer. And then she was forced to ask if her side is full of plastic people! She was on the defensive the entire time.

I also thought we caught them in a number of their lies--that civil unions could be anything. Josh came back with that great line, no one knew what civil unions even were before Vermont created them. Priceless. That it wouldn't ban d.p. benefits. Josh came back with real evidence from other states and got them to admit it would end up in court. Again and again, they were forced to back down.

I loved it. Josh, especially, was confident and pleasant and kept all cool. Great job!

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Doris said...

Sorry --- I meant to say I couldn't disagree with her or him more!

I was so impressed by our side. I think Josh and Curt appealed to undecided voters so much better than them. They came across as mean and unfair.

I was so surprised by the above post I just got a little flustered.

And, what's more --- Josh and Curt did make a moving wonderful argument on behalf of gay families. It made me feel more than ever that we're going to win!

At 1:23 PM, Blogger David Schowengerdt said...

I do see what anonymous is trying to say above, but you'd have to talk to an undecided to really know.

I think Josh and Curt did a great job of talking about how this amendment would hurt real couples in the here and now, not some theoretical couples in the future.

I was especially entertained by Julaine's assertion that some business owners would be hurt if they had to provide health insurance for partners of employees in same-sex relationships.

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Jared said...

I also thought that Josh and Curt came across with a stronger argument. I suspect that if our side pointed out what anonymous mentioned in the above post, we would end up losing more undecided voters who would walk away from this debate only with fears that this was exculsively about marriage being redefined.

Instead, Josh spoke very eloquently about the far-reaching effects that this amendment would have-- and the types of circumstances that could be impacted by that second sentence. (And which may surprise those unfamiliar to the debate.) I seriously think that the fair-minded people of Wisconsin that we talk about so much here were better served by the way Josh and Curt discussed this.

So, thanks Josh for keeping your cool and for speaking so well about an issue that would have had me stuttering and emotional.

At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Jared and Doris. So many times I watch these shows and feely poorly represented. I'll end up screaming at the t.v. But today I felt wonderfully represented. I think Josh and Curt not only would have swayed undecided voters, but may even have made supporters a little less certain of their position.


At 5:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess what I was trying to say was the our opponents throw out this rhetoric about the institution of marriage being destroyed and taken away, and that we need to somehow temper people's fears, which are clearly being used by our opponents. Silly as it sounds to many of us, some people hear whe she says and have an instinctual reaction to believe her without even thinking about the irrationality of it.

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Kent Walker said...

I loved it when Appling talked about her side being hurt due to having to pay insurance benefits. Does this mean that Appling and her side discriminate with insurance to all employees or just gay ones. I can't imagine that every employer would "Love" everything about every employee and their LEGAL spouse that they employ. Do they ask about religion when they hire? Would a Christian business owner be allowed to deny a Muslum, Hindu, Wiccan or Jewish spouse because their religions differ? I think not and thus Appling just uncovered a double standard. Maybe that point should be brought up to her next time she said that?

At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Patrick said...

This was a great, great program and both Joshua and Curt Anderson set a wonderful tone that I think people will respond to.

They also laid out the case for a no vote with logical arguments.

Bartz and Appling did not seem to have concrete ideas but instead played on fears. The benefits argument is especially weak, as it does not take into consideration how group health benefits are priced. Also, it's illogical simply because if every gay man or woman married a heterosexual partner tomorrow, the benefits are there and cost just as much.

I also think Neil Heinen did a very good job of moderating the discussion.


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