Oshkosh League of Women Voters Forum
On Monday night, I drove up to Oshkosh to speak as part of a panel at a League of Women Voters forum on the ban. The League has come out strongly against the ban, and a number of local chapters across the state have been holding educational forums about it, including in Manitowoc, La Crosse, Madison, Janesville, and Fond du Lac.
In Oshkosh, Ann Marshall from the League introduced the speakers to a crowd of about 45 people. Rep. Gregg Underheim, the lone Republican to vote against the ban in the state Assembly, said voters should oppose the ban because social policy does not belong in the constitution, and the constitution is intended to restrict government, not regulate individuals.
Bob Pedersen, the CEO of Goodwill Industries and a board member of NEW North, talked about how the ban would counter economic developments efforts are designed to make the region more competitive in the global marketplace.
Attorney John Bermingham talked about the legal consequences, including an analysis of the current statutory ban on marriage for gay couples and the court rulings that have confirmed that gay marriage is a matter for lawmakers not the courts.
Pastor Carol DiBiasio-Snyder explained why Scripture compels her to oppose the ban.
Sue Werblow spoke about her experience as a mother of a gay son. And Aaron Sherer and Paul Smith talked about the ways the ban would impact them.
It was great to get out of the office. I used to travel much more but haven't lately. I love to see some of the great people I've met over the past three years working on this issue. Aaron Sherer, one of the panelists and a board member for Fair Wisconsin, invited me to dinner with Sue Werblow, Jan Viste, Susy Vette, and Anne Romond. We ate at the Roxy Supper Club.
Aaron and Sue have been active for a long time, and they've helped bring more people on board. Jan and Sue have both organized some of the most successful campaign fundraising events ever seen in Oshkosh and Appleton. Susy and Anne both say they were never so politically engaged before this issue came along. Anne remarked to me that the issue has brought people together. She said she believes the fight against the ban has changed people's hearts and minds and that "there's no going back to the way things were before."
In the photo, that's Jan, Aaron, Susy, Anne, and Sue at the supper club.