The Story in Photos - The Wausau Kick-Off

Day 2: Wausau and Central Wisconsin



Our Kick-Off of Fair Wisconsin in Wausau was hosted by the First Presbyterian Church. Thanks to Pastor Wright and the church's board for providing a meeting space. See Pastor Wright's comments in the Wausau Daily Herald.


We set up the basement meeting room for a good-sized crowd, complete with tables, chairs, and sign in.

And as in Appleton, a large crowd filled the room, squeezing into the corners and filling every chair.

Campaign manager Mike Tate introduced the Fair Wisconsin campaign and our three local speakers: UW-Marathon County Professor Emeritus Linda Ware, Pastor Scott Marrese-Wheeler, and local organizer against the ban Joni Hahn.

Pastor Scott spoke about how his faith and belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ is what motivates him to speak out against the ban on civil unions and marriage.

Linda Ware is Vice Chair of the Wisconsin Arts Board, and has chaired a number of arts organizations, including the Performing Arts Foundation and the Artsblock Fund Drive in Wausau. Linda spoke about how the ban will have negative effects on Wisconsin's economy. Here is an excerpt from what she had to say:

In this debate, we seem to forget that marriage is a civil contract. Our Constitution guarantees everyone equal protection under the law. The right to enter into a contract is a civil right; it is also the foundation of good business practices. If Wisconsin’s proposed Ban succeeds in denying gays and lesbians the equal protection of the law in their homes and workplaces, it will hurt our business and cultural potential profoundly.

Examples—the legislature is working on a package of incentives for filmmakers to make films in Wisconsin—an extremely profitable enterprise for the state, and great advertising. What skilled and diverse film company is going to come here if we have promised to discriminate against gays? How many outstanding teachers and researchers has the University of Wisconsin lost or been unable to hire because this ban is even being considered?

Business owners, local entrepreneurs, professionals, ask yourselves two questions about this Ban: Is it fair? Is it good policy for Wisconsin? This is not only a civil rights issue, but an economic development threat. It’s tough, but we must take courage and vote against this. Otherwise, we fail Wisconsin’s Progressive tradition of accepting differences and building on them for successful community and state development.

Following the local speakers, Fair Wisconsin staff gave a short training on what the campaign to stop the ban is doing and will do, and on how to speak out effectively against the ban. We then invited everyone to get involved in helping all of Central Wisconsin say "No" to the ban.

Wednesday we are on to La Crosse for the area Fair Wisconsin Kick Off.



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