John M. Becker

New Poll: Wisconsin Flips for Marriage Equality

Filed By John M. Becker | March 26, 2014 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay marriage, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, polling, same-sex marriage, tipping point, Wisconsin

wisconsin_satellite.jpgIn 2006, voters in my birth state of Wisconsin enshrined discrimination into the state constitution, approving an anti-marriage equality amendment by a 59%-41% margin. I was there -- it was less than eight months after Michael and I had our wedding and we and scores of others fought like hell against it, but it went through anyway. It was a kick in the face for the Badger State's LGBT community.

Less than eight years later, the state has completely flipped. A new poll reveals that if the election were held today, the amendment would fail by essentially the same margin.

Fellow Cheesehead Paul Guequierre of the Human Rights Campaign reports:

[A] new poll released today by Marquette University... found 59 percent favor repealing the 2006 constitutional amendment, while 36 percent would continue the ban against marriage equality. Overall, 48 percent backed marriage equality, while 24 percent supported civil unions and another 24 percent said there should be no legal status for gay and lesbian couples.

Guequierre also points out that Wisconsin's inability to move forward on marriage stands in stark contrast to the state's history of equality milestones:

In 1982 Wisconsin became the first state to outlaw discrimination in employment and housing based on sexual orientation. Unfortunately gender identity is still not protected under state law. Also, when Tammy Baldwin was elected to Congress from Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District in 1998, she became the first openly gay person elected to Congress as a non-incumbent. In 2012 Wisconsin voters sent Tammy to the U.S. Senate and in 2013 she became the first openly gay U.S. Senator in history.

Since Wisconsin state government is entirely controlled by anti-LGBT Republicans, the legal route is the state's best hope for repealing its marriage discrimination amendment. Just last month, the ACLU filed suit to overturn the ban.

Here's hoping they're successful, so that Wisconsin can once again live up to its progressive motto: "Forward!"

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