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Hello From the Land of Cheese!

Aaron Hulse,
Washington Legislative Office
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November 1, 2006

I’ve been on the ground in Northeast Wisconsin for a little over a week now, working with the Fair Wisconsin campaign and the ACLU of Wisconsin to keep discrimination our of our state constitution and defeat the ban on civil unions and marriage, which reads:

“Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state”

I know this legalese can be a bit confusing sometimes, so let me break it down for you. The first sentence seeks to define marriage – strange, since Wisconsin law already prohibits same-sex marriage and the Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld this law in numerous rulings. The second sentence is the kicker. It would hurt thousands of Wisconsin families (gay and straight) by denying basic protections like sharing health and retirement benefits, and making important medical decisions in an emergency. People who love each other and share their lives together shouldn’t be treated like a stranger at the hospital door. In Ohio (where similar language passed) we’ve even seen judges throw out domestic violence charges because the state can no longer recognize the relationship. That’s crazy – this amendment goes too far!

With only a few days before the election the latest polls show us in a dead heat, so this race, like many others across the country, will be determined by our efforts these last few days and how effectively we get fair-minded Wisconsinites (including lots of ACLU members) out to the polls next Tuesday.

While sleep might be lacking, optimism is running high, and we’re giving our all in these last few days to make history in Wisconsin by being the first state to stop one of these divisive measures! Working with Chris Ahmuty and Renee Crawford from the ACLU of Wisconsin and the NE Wisconsin chapter, we’ve been knocking on doors, writing letters, and tonight, on Halloween, had an ACLU member-to-member phone bank reminding our Wisconsin members just how scary having the ban pass would be.

Being a Wisconsinite and growing up in Northeast Wisconsin, this issue is personal for me – people I know and love could be hurt if the ban passes. That’s why I’m so happy to be on the ground here, fighting alongside Fair Wisconsin and ACLU members – the efforts of everyone on the ground here is inspiring and we’re all doing our best to make history next Tuesday…

Happily freezin’ my buns off for equality! 🙂

For more information:

Wisconsin Amendment “Faces Considerable Opposition”

20 Effects of the Civil Unions and Marriage Ban

Overly broad, dangerous, unfair and simply unnecessary