Friday, May 15, 2009

Wisconsin High Court Agrees to Hear Case Challenging State's Marriage Equality Ban

Unite the Fight earlier reported that the Wisconsin high court was asked to review the state's same-sex marriage ban.

Good news. They agreed to hear the case.

But hold your horses. A ruling striking down the amendment would not legalize same-sex marriage because state law still defines marriage as a union between husband and wife. However, it could pave the way for lawmakers to eventually allow it, or for advocates to file lawsuits seeking that right.

The case was submitted by William McConkey, a 66-year old who describes himself as a “Christian, straight, married," man with a gay daughter is a University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh political science instructor. He claims the referendum that banned marriage equality in Wisconsin illegally put two issues to voters at the same time: whether to ban gay marriage and whether to outlaw civil unions.

The court has given lawyers 30 days to file their briefs.

Fair Wisconsin, the state’s largest gay rights group, praised the court’s decision to take the case.

“The constitutional amendment is definitely something we see as a stain on the constitution. It sort of enshrines discrimination,” said its legislative director, Katie Belanger. “We are really looking forward to the Supreme Court making a fair decision about whether or not the amendment was put to the people in the legal and constitutional way.”

Stay tuned!

See related story, "Wisconsin Governor's Civil Unions Plan Likely Legal" at Gay Marriage Watch.

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