A great day for a walk ...

It's 11am on Sunday, and in a few hours, my friend Sandee and I will return to the streets to continue our GOTV canvass. Yesterday, between us we went to roughly 250 homes.

We had a ball. Sandee and I have canvassed together, oh, about 15 times so far, but GOTV is the dessert we've been waiting for. This is when we talk with people who have already identified themselves as voting no. We inform them of the address of their polling station, remind them to turn the ballot over (in Dane County), and ask if they need a ride to the polls.

People thanks us - often profusely. A fair number of people tell us they have already voted no. Some people thank us for providing the address of their polling station. Some thank us for reminding them that the vote is this coming Tuesday.

We had so much fun yesterday we recruited two more people to help us today - my partner, and one of his work colleagues.

If you haven't signed up yet, this is the time you're needed most. Sign up. You won't regret it. It's a beautiful sunny day. Join us. There is still a shift this afternoon and several shifts all day tomorrow, all over the state.

www.fairwisconsin.com/gotv

39 Comments:

At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the argument you folks are putting on the air is true, and that nothing will change in Wisconsin if this amendment does not pass, how can you assure that? What if a challenge were issued in court and the same thing as happened in New Jersey happens in Wisconsin? Would Fair Wisconsin then be rallying against the court ruling? I somehow doubt it. And if Fair Wisconsin would not be willing to rally against the court ruling, that means that Fair Wisconsin would be in favor of a court-induced marriage definition that includes homosexuals. That's why I believe that Fair Wisconsin's deceitful advertising will backfire on Tuesday, and that, as so many polls show, Wisconsin will indeed make marriage between one man and one woman. If that definition becomes expanded to anything more than that, won't we always be "discriminating" against someone? If Wisconsin were to refuse to allow a man to marry three women, wouldn't we be "discriminating" against him? What about a man and a dog? We as a society must decide where we want to draw lines, and what practices we will deem to be socially acceptable. Fortunately, I and many other Wisconsinites will draw that line on Tuesday, and then, Fair Wisconsin, you can pack your bags and move on to one of the other 30 states that will soon be considering a similar amendment, so that you can be disappointed there too.

Oh, and by the way, could you tell me where to vote? I just can't wait to draw the line through the "yes."

 
At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shame on you for deceiving people. By voting "yes", gay couples will lose nothing. They don't have marriage rights now. Every "reverend" you have noted as backing your "no" vote should be ashamed. They should be reading their Bible on a daily basis. If they study God's Word and pray, as God calls us to do, they would know the truth. If they vote "no", they don't know the Truth. The Truth is Jesus Christ and His Word tells us that marriage is between one man and one woman. Thank you

 
At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christ also told not to judge and to love your neighbor. What did God say about civil unions? What will a vote of yes do to your neighbors? There is no deceit except for one side ignoring the second line of the amendment. That line clearly denies any benefits similar to marriage (i.e. civil unions) for any couple, gay or straight, now perhaps you will disagree with my logic, but presumably wouldn't that require those straight couples to go get married and... well demean the biblical definition of marriage (they won't be getting married in a church, it won't have God's blessings)? Further marriage is already defined in this state as between a husband and a wife, I don't see how that differs at all from "a man and a woman".

 
At 11:52 PM, Anonymous dan ross said...

1) the "man and a dog" argument is what's deceitful, not to mention silly. dogs can't say "i do" and actually mean it. neither can lawnmowers, bunches of celery, or really good deep-dish pizza. and if polygamy was the real fear, then it would say "two people".

2) the new jersey decision doesn't redefine marriage. it says gay and lesbian couples should have equal rights. if, like vermont, it's called something other than marriage, then it's not marriage. read it.

3) why do (most of) these anonymous blog comments never have any relevance to the original topic? i think it was about walking door-to-door. focus on the TOPIC!

 
At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

True, God did not speak to the point of civil unions; however, He did say that it was inappropriate to even have a "hint" of sexual immorality (living together before marriage, premarital sex etc...) and also that it was unnatural, sinful and a perversion to practice homosexuality. So to that end, He did speak to "civil unions" which would provide benefit under the law for said activities. You cannot use the Bible to justify granting of civil unions, gay marriage or an equivalent.

 
At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Cal said...

"If polygamy was the real fear, then it would say 'two people'."

Do you mean the amendment would say "two people?" Because if so, you should note that the amendment does specify that marriage is between "ONE man and ONE woman."

 
At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Religion should have NOTHING to do with this. The religions can't even agree about this among themselves. This is about equal rights for all people. This is about using the constitution in a way it was never intended to be used. Gays and lesbians have always been here and will always be here. It is NOT up to you to decide how others should live their lives. But, it is up to every member of society to see that all people are treated equal and have equal rights. Have we learned nothing from the past? I would think women and minorities would take a stand after all the discrimination of the past and get out and vote "NO" because they have been there. It's time to say NO MORE DISCRIMINATION!!!

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

I'm not opposed to giving homosexuals the same visitation rights, health care rights, etc as heterosexuals. But I suspect that these rights are not what the gay movement is about. Were civil unions to be legalized, does anyone really believe that the gay movement would say, "Well, we've gotten what we wanted!" and that would be the end of it? I suspect not. Then I believe the fight would begin over the title of "civil unions," and the argument of the gay community would argue that they should be entitled to call their union marriage.

Furthermore, the arguments about the "slippery slope" of allowing homosexuals to marry and claiming that anything less is discrimination is perfectly valid. They're just so far from the mainstream that they would never have any support to pass. But essentially they and the proposed amendment illustrate the same thing: when someone claims that they are being discriminated against, we should do all we can to rectify that discrimination. I'm not prepared to immediately attempt to appease anyone who merely claims discrimination. I don't believe that homosexuals are discriminated against as a matter of law. They are probably discriminated against to the nines as a matter of public accord, but the government doesn't involve itself in free expression with the exception of hate speech (or at least, it shouldn't). In short, I think these arguments about writing discrimination into the constitution are fanciful (at best) attempts to mislead voters. I doubt previous posters, or anyone else in the organization for that matter, has researched homosexual discrimination accurately and thoroughly before throwing around the term. Thank goodness that polls are showing a gap of 5 - 10 points between those that support the amendment and those that do not. The arguments that Fair Wisconsin has put forth are unsupported at best and false at worst.

 
At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can only speak for myself but I would be happy to have the rights you enjoy and take for granted. such as insurance, etc. I do not care to have my relationship called marriage. I do want the same benefits as you and your partner. And in my opinion gays and lesbians ARE discriminated against. If I am doing the same job as you why should I not have the same benefits as you. Such as to put my partner or family on my health insurance the same as you? I consider it not being treated equally in the workplace when it comes to benefits such as insurance insurance. I would bet if your wife/husband has a death in the family you get funeral leave. I don't. What would you call this if not discrimination?

 
At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then why is nothing being said about my proposition that the gay community bring forth support for legislation that writes "any named person" as beneficiaries to their insurance policy? The problem would then be solved. Most people are not arguing ethical and equal treatment of all people should not occur, they are arguing that voting down the current ammendment proposal will not keep legislation from being passed that will grant insurance benefits to "partners." Stir up support to get your funeral leave; if the gay community would put forth as much effort into brining up these issues instead of being combative about something that is so important to many many people in society, it would probably serve them better.

 
At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm not opposed to giving homosexuals the same visitation rights, health care rights, etc as heterosexuals."

then you should vote NO. Cause this amendment isn't just about the word marriage or even the concept - it has a second sentence that will ban anything "identical or substantially similar to" marriage.

If you really believe that I should have the right to shared health insurance, to hospital vistiation and medical decision making, etc., then vote NO - because if this passes, the legislature will have it's hands tied when it comes to giving me equal or even substantially similar rights.

 
At 11:13 AM, Blogger Rebecca said...

"Then why is nothing being said about my proposition that the gay community bring forth support for legislation that writes "any named person" as beneficiaries to their insurance policy? The problem would then be solved. "

The problem would not be solved. That is such a simplistic view of this issue. Insurance is ONE of more than 1100 federal and more than 200 state rights and obligations.

My child deserves to have the same family protections as every other child. This amendment makes sure they never will.

 
At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is not true; DP's and civil unions are already not recognized and many employers offer domestic partner benefits. So how would voting yes change that fact. It wouldn't. The "no" side is in effect using the same "what if's" that the "yes" side is using. You can't attack an arguement based upon the theory behind it and just use the reverse theory, that is a dishonest way to try and make a point. Either the "yes's" can argue what if activist judges get ahold of the wording and legislate from the bench, and you can keep your "what if" the insurance companies deny DP benefits, or you throw out the "what if's" and it goes back to a moral arguement.

 
At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because it is about more than health insurance. To me it is about the benefits and rights that I need to keep my family secure. The basic right to, hospital visitation, funeral leave, family leave, insurance, etc. The list goes on and on. However, like I said, I speak for myself. I would just like myself and my partner to be given these rights. I am not asking the I can be "married". I am only asking to have myself and my family treated equal when it comes to employment benefits and legal rights.

 
At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly, then the first sentence of my previous post applies. Voting yes or no does not change the current coverage of insurance, funeral rights... that is something you should be pursuing via lobbying for it in government, writing to your legislators, organizing groups to speak to employers and insurance companies. Nowhere in the proposed ammendment does it ban insurance benefits, funeral rights, visitation rights or anything of that nature. Those issues are still things that can be lobbied for; yet no one brings up that point. It seems that the undecided voters are being bamboozled with misinformation with regard to disenfranchisement and discrimination when it is not really there.

 
At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Insurance is just one of the many rights and benefits I am denied. It is true that some companies offer domestic partner benefits, but many companies do not offer domestic partner benefits. No where that I have ever worked has offered them. My current insurance carrier won't even consider it because they require you have at least 25 employees before it is available. However, my co-workers can have there wife/husband/kids on their policy. Do you really believe that is fair???

 
At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you think the second sentence is about and why do you think it was put in there to begin with?????? Look at what has happened in other states regarding domestic dispute laws, etc.

 
At 11:39 AM, Blogger Rebecca said...

"Nowhere in the proposed ammendment does it ban insurance benefits, funeral rights, visitation rights or anything of that nature. Those issues are still things that can be lobbied for; yet no one brings up that point."

This amendment denies these benefits and obligations because of the second sentence - it ties the hands of the legislature when it comes to granting equal (or even substantially similar to) family protections.

Where is the "substantially similar to" line? Nobody will say and everywhere something similar has passed and there have been public entities providing domestic partner benefits (which aren't even equal benefits, because of federal tax law) those benefits have been denied or threatened in court.

 
At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To force unmarried couples to lobby for every right and benefit that's automatic in marriage is impractical and cruel.

FW has a list of 100 (of the 1,000+ federal and 200 WI) rights and benefits that are granted automatically with a marriage license -- so these are only 100 of those rights that would be permanently denied to unmarried couples if this amendment passes tomorrow. Visit the FW website to see this list at:

www.fairwisconsin.com/ban/100.html

 
At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "substantially Similar to" line is on the ballot. It is the 2nd. sentence to the constitutional amendment. Is that what you are asking?

 
At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you also think the elderly people who decide not to marry because of financial or other reasons should have to go "lobby" for the right to visit each other in the hospital, etc.?

 
At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have visited many people at the hospital without being married to them, so I do not know what you are talking about. I have visited friends, distant relation, even shut-in's and I have never had a problem visiting. Again, what is up with all these "scare tactics?"

 
At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You did not visit them if they were in serious condition in intensive care where only close relatives or a spouse can visit.

 
At 1:00 PM, Anonymous quilly said...

Some of you anons are obfuscating the issue by harping on details. Read the "House Divided" posting. This amendment is not what Constitutions are meant to be. Read the posting from a while ago about next-of-kin status. Whereas heterosexuals can marry to achieve automatic next-of-kin status, same-sex couples cannot, nor can they pay a lawyer to write up a contract that achieves it for them. The amendment's second part would have to be repealed in order for the legislature to create something "substantially similar."

Some of the legislators that passed this were honest enough to admit they voted for this as a way to get Republicans to the polls for the governor's race. Others in the "yes" camp just don't like homosexuality, and think even Vermont's civil unions are a sign of moral decline. In any case, none of these stands truly addresses the contributors to failed marriages.

This quibbling about what arguments have been used in the debate is a trivial waste of time.

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger Kent Walker said...

Visiting is one thing. Being able to make medical decisions for your partner is one item at stake.

Scenario (and this is real - it happens more that you would think)

Loving couple (same sex in a committed relationship for 25 years) get power of attorney and medical paperwork created so that they can make decisions for one another. It costs a lot more than a married couple who get this automatically free of charge. Some years down the road there is a car accident in a different state. One person is injured the other not. They go to the hospital. Hospitals asks the uninjured person who they are. They respond I am this persons partner and I have legal rights to help them. The hospital says, prove it. No one carries around all those papers so the partner has to fight to get to see their injured loved one. Hospital has a lot of "religious" workers who don't like the idea of gay people. They call the police. The partner is denied access to their injured loved one. The loved one dies without being with their partner.

It can go on and has....

There is a will and they owned property together one person owned the home when the other moved in. The deceased person's family are mean and discriminatory. They take it to a judge who is also like minded. He claims that this is not a "real" relationship or marriage and the deceased persons family is blood relations so they get the house and property. The will is declared unlawful. The surviving spouse is left out in the cold or even locked out of his/her house DURING the funeral.

This person spent years with their partner and paid for half of their belongings. Even though they paid high dollar lawyers for these pieces of paperwork, a judge or a family can say, "well, your state constitution says this arrangement is "substantially similar" to marriage and thus it is null and void. Means nothing. Get out.

Now if you think this is far fetched, look it up. Fair Wisconsin has some examples and benefits that were already given to domestic partners in Michigan were dropped when the constitution there was amended because "it was not legal" they said.

So now tell me, same-sex partners can just whip up legal documents that protect them for over 1100 federal and more than 200 state benefits and responsibilities?

See the case about the woman who was denied access to her daughter when the girl was injured at school because she wasn't "the biological" parent even though they had papers showing she had the right and the women had been together for years. It was an emergency and she didn't have time to run home for proof. It is ridiculous that people would think this is fair.

These are just a small sample of the types of things Gays and Lesbians battle daily. And you think they choose this just to be "different".

Poppycock.

These are not scare-tactics. These are the frightening events we live with every single day. Not to mention the fear of being beaten, kicked out of our rental, denied a job... just for being gay. These things are not illegal either. Can you blame us for finally standing up for ourselves and saying "HEY, this is my family you are hurting here. Enough is enough."

We would never think of doing that to you.

 
At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not a scare tactic...go try to visit someone in ICU and see if they let you in if you are not a close relative. My nephew was recently seriously injured and when I got to the hospital I was not allowed in intensive care to see him...only his parents were. So don't tell me anyone can go see whomever they want in the hospital.

 
At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have the proper paperwork filled out prior to any hospital visit, this is not an issue. How hard is it to fill out a simple statement?

 
At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This would also apply to medical decisions

 
At 2:47 PM, Blogger Kent Walker said...

LOL. Oh Anonymous, your suggestion, while seemingly simple, is very naive. Do you carry around all your simple statements when you travel, go to the store, visit your friends across town? Beside, you can't seem to grasp the idea that if this amendment is approved, those simple documents you think we can so easily sign and rely on, can, by an "activist" judge be deemed null and void because having them makes our relationship "substantially similar" to marriage. So what then?

Check out this link and I think it will give you a better idea of what is at stake. Remember this is a SMALL list.

http://www.fairwisconsin.com/20/index.html

 
At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The side of this issue that I rarely see discussed is why is it being considered that something this vaguely worded is going to be added to the state constitution? Neither side can say for sure what exactly "substantially similar" means, and we've all be arguing about it for months. Given that, it seems the only sure thing if this passes is that the debate will continue in the courts for years to come, and it won't be cheap. Surely there's something better that money could be spent on?

 
At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now you are stating that there are "activist judges." Curious since many have said on these blogs that "activist judges" are myths. Pick a viewpoint and stick with it. A yes vote, in the absence of activist judges will not do anything. Legally, papers can be filed, arrangments can be made, orders can be placed in charts, what have you. So fill out the paperwork like everyone else (and yes, even married people have to fill out complicated paperwork, just ask my wife with the whole name changing fiasco, not to mention marriage licenses, wills, life insurance policies, taxes and everything else under the sun). Things in life take time and cost money... that's part of being a grown up.

 
At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

when your arguments are soundly, clearly, logically defeated, change the subject

or reiterate the already-proven-wrong argument

on the other hand, you could:

make comparisons between things are are dissimilar and claim they are the same

go back to a previous argument that was already covered and harp on that one

anonymous - these tactics are ridiculous. what do you hope to gain here except to harrass people who are already being harrassed by this amendment process and who are facing the possibility of the state constitution being changed to make their lives even harder?

 
At 3:25 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

In regards to benefits being affected, etc. Allow me to point out a few items. (Courtesy of Fair Wisconsin's website.)

Utah - A group is suing to overturn Salt Lake City's domestic partner policy, arguing that it "mimics" marriage and therefore violates that state's civil unions and marriage ban. Source: Salt Lake City Tribune, January 6, 2006.

Ohio - A lawmaker who supported the state's ban in 2004 is now suing Miami University, claiming the ban invalidates the university's domestic partner policy. Source: Cincinnati Enquirer, "Brinkman Sues Over Gays," January 31, 2006.

Michigan - Governor Jennifer Granholm ordered domestic partner benefits to be removed from contracts that were being negotiated for state workers. Source: Detroit Free Press, "Michigan Pulls Same-Sex Benefits from Contracts," December 2, 2004.

Michigan - A group is suing the Ann Arbor School District in an effort to strike the school's employee domestic partner benefits policy. They are using the civil unions and marriage ban as the central legal claim against the policy. Source: Detroit Free Press, "Lawsuit Challenges Ann Arbor's Schools' Same-Sex Benefits," February 7, 2005.

Michigan - Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox ruled that existing domestic partner benefits for municipal employees cannot be renewed in future contracts. This ruling could wipe out all existing public employee domestic partner benefits from Michigan. Source: Detroit Free Press, "Cox: Cities Can't Offer Benefits to Employees' Same-Sex Partners," March 16, 2005.

Currently, 254 of the Fortune 500 companies offer domestic partner benefits. Seven of those started in 2006. In Dane County, the Capital Times reported that 46 Dane County employees are taking advantage of the domestic partner benefits. 11 are same-sex and 35 are male/female couples.

The simple point is this, voting yes will cause more headaches than voting no. The amendment is ambiguous and leaves to many questions, it should be voted no on those merits along with the fact that it is trying to change the constitution from being an article for all people to some people.

 
At 3:27 PM, Blogger Kent Walker said...

I used "activist" judge as a joke since that is what the YES side is always using. Sorry I didn't make the joke more clear. Besides, I suppose an "Activist Judge" is a judge that makes any decision that one doesn't like. :-)

 
At 3:41 PM, Blogger Kent Walker said...

Well said Kevin. Thanks for the specifics. I didn't have them at hand.

You know, I just wish we didn't have to argue at all.

I simply want to live my life with my partner and have the protections that come with marriage since.. I can't get married.

As for the comment that we can just fill out paperwork and pay a fee, you are not living in reality. Talk to a lawyer and he can explain how most of the benefits that come with marriage (name change is not a benefit, that is a choice) are automatic and cost the married couple nothing. Most of these are not available at any price for same sex couples AND, since if they were they might constitute "substantially similar" to marriage they can be ignored.

So if I live my entire life with my husband, which I intend to do, and he dies say 30 years from now, I won't be able to use his social security for my benefit. Nor he mine should I pass before him. Married couples don't have to worry about that.

If we are committed, pay our taxes and do all the things any other couple does, why should we be put at financial risk. Not all companies will give pensions to non-married couples. The hospital risk.. etc. Again over 1100 benefits and rights with marriage.... And you think that is fair? Wow.

I don't think you would feel that way if we were fighting to take away marriage rights. I think you might feel differently. I personally don't know any marriage that has been damaged by my relationship.

So, I will stop pounding on the issue.

Bottom line, you don't have to want or agree with gay marriage since that is not what this amendment would allow. It is already illegal. If you want loving couples to be protected in their relationships, vote no. If you want to be unfair and selfish,and afraid of something that is not to be feared, I suppose a YES vote would be your choice. Personally, my higher power has said that my vote of NO is the right and just choice since this is not about marriage, it is about fairness.

 
At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason that there are so many rights attached to a marriage is because we as a society have defined socially acceptable behavior and have chosen to attach certain conditions and rewards for that behavior. Anyone is certainly free to engage in other, not so acceptable behaviors, but why should we as a society subsidize them? Or approve of them? The homosexual community simply cannot bear being not accepted by society. The attempts by the court to "bring in" the gay community have been met with widespread opposition and amendments like this one to the Wisconsin constitution, further showing that the court is ineffective in bringing about social change on its own when the majority of America disagrees with the court. In effect, gay activists have led the effort that will destroy their cause, as more states adopt constitutional amendments like this one.

 
At 5:08 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

Kinda funny but the same could be said in the 1960's when people were questioning why a caucasian should be able to marry an African-American when it wasn't socially acceptable.

Earlier in the 20th century, many felt it wasn't socially acceptable that women had the right to vote.

What is socially acceptable has changed throughout history. The major change is that more and more people were being recognized for the fact they have the same freedoms, the "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" as others and they have become socially acceptable.

Let's face it, some people hate changes, but in the end change is what is needed to make this country advance.

If being gay is a choice, why did I and so many choose to be part of a group that should be looked down upon? Its time for everyone to open their eyes and realize that we are going through another change. Keeping your eyes closed, or having your mind closed, will help you personally move forward in life. Society is better served by everyone trying to compromise and work together.

Other countries like Great Britain, found that compromise does work. Gay marriage is not allowed but civil unions are.

Take a look at their requirements, I think it can work here. http://www.buddybuddy.com/d-p-brit.html

 
At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shame on you Kevin for equating the suffering of the African American people with the alleged "suffering" of the homosexual community. No one is keeping homosexuals from eating lunch in the same restaurant as heterosexuals. I don't see police hosing homosexuals down in the streets when the parade all over alleging that they are discriminated against. Homosexuals are free to enter the same bathrooms as I am, and to ride the same busses. Equating the tragic suffering of African Americans to that of the homosexual community is staggeringly ignorant.

P.S. Check the statistics. Gay marriage has devastated the family structure in Europe. You're right to recognize that gay marriage is not the end-all be-all threat to traditional marriage. I do support rectifying the plauges of divorce and infidelity. But ultimately, gay marriage is also a threat, albeit minor compared to the other two causes, and would be just as harmful to traditional values in America as it has been in Europe.

 
At 12:01 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

Shame on me? I'm sorry, but me being gay is who I am. Its not a choice, just like African-Americans don't have a choice.

It doesn't take a physical appearance to validate a reason to have equal rights. I am who I am, me choosing not to be who I am is more wrong than accepting it.

I don't know what you believe but God made me in his own image, including this. This is what I believe.

Shame on me? Shame on you for being anonymous and not having the guts. If you are going to stand on an issue, don't be hiding. Be proud of your stance and don't be anonymous.

 

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