Julaine Appling Knows Best
Almost every week some organization or leader speaks out publicly against the civil unions and marriage ban for the first time. They often have very different reasons and represent very different constituencies.
To my knowledge, our opponents at the Wisconsin Coalition for Traditional Marriage, Vote Yes for Marriage, and the Family Research Institute have never revealed any groups or leaders on their side who support the ban.
Well, except for out-of-state figures like Phyllis Schlafly and James Dobson, and maybe three or four Wisconsin clergy people. Granted, Julaine Appling has said 4,000 to 5,000 churches have signed on to support the ban, yet the list has never been made publicly available.
Because apparently Julaine Appling and her organizations don't have diverse groups and leaders who support the ban, they simply fire back at those who oppose it. No matter what perspective they have, no matter what constituency they represent, and no matter what kind of expertise they have, she says they don't know what they're talking about. She apparently knows best.
Wisconsin Bar Association presidents announced their opposition to the ban, saying they opposed a constitutional amendment that would deny rights. Yesterday, Vote Yes for Marriage put out a release titled, "Constitutional Law 101: Lawyers Need a Refresher Course." The release quotes Julaine saying, "Claiming the constitution grants rights is flat out wrong."
Julaine knows the law better than a bipartisan mix of former Bar Association presidents?
Business leaders, including the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Madison, Inc., oppose the ban because they believe it will hurt efforts to attract and retain talented professionals and employers. According to NBC 15, "a spokesperson with the Family Research Institute...says an all–out ban could be better for business, because they say statistics show men who are married to women are better employees than single men." Julaine Appling echoed this bit of business expertise in other media interviews as well.
Julaine understands what's good for business better than the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and its corporate players?
Labor organizations, from AFT Wisconsin to AFSCME to the AFL-CIO are working to defeat the ban because they fear it will hurt working families by taking away existing domestic partner benefits and limiting bargaining rights. Julaine Appling told several reporters that the ban would not impact domestic partner benefits and that these labor leaders don't speak for their members.
Julaine is more in touch with workers than labor unions?
Finally, when four former Wisconsin governors issued a joint statement against the ban, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported this:
Julaine Appling, executive director of the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin, which supports the amendment, said the statement by the former governors was wrong because a court could change the definition of marriage.Does Julaine Appling know more about the law and our government than four former governors (one Republican and three Democrats)?
I do not mean to single out Julaine Appling in a personal way. It's just that she seems to be the only person among our opponents who ever speaks out publicly to the media.
Wisconson voters have a pretty clear choice. They can side with a bipartisan group former governors, CEOs, labor unions, and prominent attorneys -- or with Julaine Appling.