Ballot Question & Explanation
Last week Wisconsin's Department of Justice provided the State Elections Board with language that will appear on the November ballot (pdf).
This is the question we will be answering:
Shall section 13 of article XIII of the constitution be created to provide that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state and that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state?Note that while the amendment would add two sentences to the state constitution, this question is only one sentence long.
And this is the official explanation for voters:
Under present Wisconsin law, only a marriage between a husband and a wife is recognized as valid in this state. A husband is commonly defined as a man who is married to a woman, and a wife is commonly defined as a woman who is married to a man.Our opponents, the Vote Yes for Marriage campaign, issued a press release (pdf) saying that they are "encouraged by her [Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager's] explanation of the ballot language."
A "yes" vote would make the existing restriction on marriage as a union between a man and a woman part of the state constitution, and would prohibit any recognition of the validity of a marriage between persons other than one man and one woman.
A "yes" vote would also prohibit recognition of any legal status which is identical or substantially similar to marriage for unmarried persons of either the same sex or different sexes.
The constitution would not further specify what is, or what is not, a legal status identical or substantially similar to marriage. Whether any particular type of domestic relationship, partnership or agreement between unmarried persons would be prohibited by this amendment would be left to further legislative or judicial determination.
A "no" vote would not change the present law restricting marriage to a union between a man and a woman nor impose restrictions on any particular kind of domestic relationship, partnership or agreement between unmarried persons.
We also think it presents a reasonable, fair explanation.
Tags: Campaign News