STATUS: Some protections for couples, anti-relationship recognition constitutional amendment
TAKE ACTION: State advocacy groups are working toward fairness for all of Wisconsin's families by overturning a constitutional amendment that prohibits relationship recognition for same-sex couples in the state.
HISTORY: In 2006, anti-gay forces in Wisconsin pushed through Referendum 1, a constitutional amendment that excludes same-sex couples from marriage and prohibits same-sex couples from attaining any other form of legal family status.
On June 29, 2009, Governor Jim Doyle signed a budget bill into law after it was approved by the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate. The budget bill included a domestic partnership allowance for same-sex couples. The domestic partnership law provides limited access to some of the protections that the freedom to marry affords. The limited domestic partnership law took effect on August 3, 2009.
GROUPS ACTIVELY WORKING ON MARRIAGE:
- Fair Wisconsin is Wisconsin's central statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and advocacy organization.
- Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.
- Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization.
RECENT POLLING DATA: Wisconsin is also seeing a shift on marriage perspectives. Whereas an anti-gay marriage amendment passed in 2006 by a 19-point margin, a June 2011 survey from Public Policy Polling found that 42 percent of the state supported the freedom to marry.
NUMBER OF SAME-SEX COUPLES: According to The Williams Institute's analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, 9,179 same-sex couples are living in Wisconsin, representing 4.0 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.
Blog Posts Related to Wisconsin
Dan Pologe writes a moving essay about growing up with two mothers in Wisconsin. "It is true my upbringing might be different from the ‘norm,’ but the love I received and strong values that have helped to define who I am today was not," he writes.
Here, Freedom to Marry catches up with seven of the couples who participated in the Shall Not Be Recognized portrait exhibit. They share how life in Wisconsin has progressed in six years and discuss the impact of this year's Supreme Court ruling striking down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.
This week, two members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) announced their support for the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
Resources Related to Wisconsin
Pew Poll Finds Growing Support for Freedom to Marry Among Evangelicals, Majority Support Among Youth
A comprehensive Pew poll found majority support for the freedom to marry among young people, college graduates and Catholics, with growing support among all other religious categories.
Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in Wyoming.
Groundbreaking research showing a huge increase in same-sex couples identifying themselves as "unmarried partners".