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
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.
In the past week, the state Democratic Party organizations in Pennsylvania, Montana, Texas and Wisconsin have modified their official platforms to include a plank calling for the freedom to marry.
Today 11 State Democratic Party chairs from across the country joined in support of a freedom to marry plank in the party’s national platform. The chairs include John Burton (CA), Jay Jacobs (NY), John Walsh (MA), Ken Martin (MN), Meredith Wood Smith (OR), Boyd Richie (TX), Jake Perkinson (VT), Mike Tate (WI), Dwight Pelz (WA), Jon Wisniewski (NJ), and Joan Wagnon (KS).
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".