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Wisconsin

Wis. governor senses ‘no significant movement’ to undo gay marriage ban

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker, a staunch defender of Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban, said Wednesday that he senses no “significant movement” to undo the law even though a federal lawsuit filed Monday challenges its constitutionality.

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.)

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.)

The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, was brought on behalf of four same-sex couples who are seeking the same legal protections and civil rights that marriage between a man and woman provides. They argue that Wisconsin’s ban, adopted by voters in 2006, violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection and due process clauses.

But Walker, who faces re-election in November, sidestepped commenting on arguments in the lawsuit when asked about it Wednesday. Instead, he said as governor he was obligated to uphold the state constitution and the ban, but defending it would be left to Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.

“I haven’t heard a significant movement across the state to make a n alteration on that one way or the other,” Walker said of the ban.

Polling shows increased support for legalizing gay marriage in Wisconsin and dozens of lawsuits have been filed across the country challenging similar laws. The U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits and a federal judge in December overturned a same-sex marriage ban in conservative Utah.

“I’m not sure what the governor bases his perceptions on, but public opinion in Wisconsin has been moving powerfully toward marriage equality, just as it has been elsewhere in the country,” said ACLU attorney Larry Dupuis in an email. “More and more Americans are embracing the idea that same-sex couples – who are their neighbors, friends, and loved ones – deserve the same dignity and protections as any other married couples.”

Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban was adopted by 59 percent of voters in 2006. But a Marquette University statewide poll released in October showed 53 percent support for gay marriage. That was up from 44 percent in October 2012.

Walker, a potential 2016 Republican candidate for president, has largely avoided talking in depth about hot-button social issues like gay marriage. But he has a long history of opposing gay marriage and Wisconsin’s 2009 domestic registry law.

Walker voted for the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2006. As Milwaukee County executive in 2009, Walker vetoed a measure to provide benefits to same-sex partners of county workers. And once elected governor, in 2011, he fired the state’s attorney defending Wisconsin’s domestic registry law. The state Supreme Court is currently weighing whether the registry violates the state ban on gay marriage.

Walker’s Democratic opponent in this year’s race for governor, Mary Burke, supports legalizing same-sex marriage and voted against the 2006 constitutional ban. Burke said Wednesday she supports the ACLU lawsuit as well.

“I completely support people’s freedom to choose who they would like to marry,” Burke said.

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50 more reader comments:

  1. He must not be reading ANY news from across this nation.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:25pm
  2. Boy, I guess we can add denial to the list of negative attributes the republican’s employ to try to make themselves look good..while totally failing. What a bunch of maroons.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:25pm
  3. This is one of the worst Governors in all of the United States! He is a teacher bashing, union bashing, and gay bashing creep! He needs to be impeached!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:25pm
  4. Come on they voted for him twice!!! He has them all bafooned.

    Replied on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 10:15pm
  5. The third time is a CHARM........just watch.

    Replied on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 11:29pm
  6. That is because he is so full of crap that he cannot have any “movements”!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:26pm
  7. TMI, I don’t hear about his bowel issues.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:26pm
  8. Maybe if he were to open his eyes and shut his damn mouth, he’d see the movement. Oh well, you can’t fix stupid.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:27pm
  9. Another bully out in full force. He’s on team Christie!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:29pm
  10. Well, someone is certainly out of touch with reality.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:30pm
  11. That’s bullshit.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:31pm
  12. Walker out Burke in!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:32pm
  13. pull head from arse, mr. govnor asap !

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:33pm
  14. Of course he doesn’t…

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:33pm
  15. When is his next date with Desstiny /Election ?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:34pm
  16. #bowsheadinshame so glad I didn’t vote for him… He’s done such wonderful things for our state already… Not!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:36pm
  17. GAYS ARE THE SAME AS STRIGHTS SOCIALLY

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:36pm
  18. Hopefully the courts will support the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment. That’s why it is so important for Obama to appoint federal judges. I hope he does a lot more of that. That’s why it’s so important to have a Democratic controlled Senate. Let’s also hope WI gets a Democratic governor very soon.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:40pm
  19. he is a human turd.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:44pm
  20. Well at least we all know who is haters and who isn’t and we have these people representing us??? And the United States and the land of the free

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:49pm
  21. Vote someone else in next term

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:50pm
  22. Stupid can’t be fixed. He needs voted out.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 8:52pm
  23. What a creep…so sorry Wisconsin… coming from a MN supporter!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:00pm
  24. This is one governor that needs to hit the road. I don’t give a hoot on what the Wisconsin governor says, I will love who I want, marry who I want no matter what anyone says. KISS MY COLORFUL RAINBOW BUTT!!!! TO HELL WITH WISCONSIN, I DON’T NEED TO LIVE IN A STATE WITH BIGOTS!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:02pm
  25. You have to be under a rock to not see a significance. Or be a passive aggressive and divisive politician.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:04pm
  26. Cock sucker if ever I saw one

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:04pm
  27. I think he should be strapped to a chair and made to listen to his namesake’s last two albums…for the rest of his life.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:07pm
  28. Why do all these guys hating on equality look like closet cases?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:10pm
  29. Seriously can’t wait until my state gets a new governor. Ugh.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:10pm
  30. See what the Federal Court says, fucktard.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:23pm
  31. …guess he doesn’t have much sense.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:26pm
  32. Walker! Ugh!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:30pm
  33. …on his planet.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:34pm
  34. It’s because he has NO senses, including the common variety.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:39pm
  35. Of course this ass would say that they are part of the problem . Oh and thanks for nakeing the state have one of the highest unemployment rates ass vote this ass out

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:50pm
  36. Hey Gov., Either get on the train moving forward or wallow in the grease left on the tracks.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:51pm
  37. I’ll bet he also doesn’t sense any significant bowel movement until he fills his slacks.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 9:56pm
  38. The guy is really out to lunch.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 10:02pm
  39. Continue to live in your worthless, mindless world you dumb ass. Your state may well be next to marriage equality.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 10:14pm
  40. maybe if he opened his eyes he would see the movement!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 10:18pm
  41. Really Scott? Really.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 10:19pm
  42. The train will,at some point, run him over!!

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 10:26pm
  43. He also wanted to re-instate slavery. Unfortunately for him USC said “Nope.”

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 10:35pm
  44. well hmmmmm…….what should we do about that this November???

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 10:45pm
  45. Try a class action lawsuit.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 10:45pm
  46. Sensory impaired?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 11:03pm
  47. when is the LGBT community going to allow pedophiles and those who have sex with animals into their group? I mean, you can’t help who you love, right? LGBTPB, has a nice ring to it.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 11:06pm
  48. heres a song I wrote for all of you who only ask to be trested equal……http://youtu.be/BF8hfgQzu0Y

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 11:31pm
  49. Bill Averso… never. If you don’t know the difference between CONSENTING adults in a relationship. ..and people having sex with dogs and kids…I feel sorry for you. Idiot.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 11:46pm
  50. Typical and unjust

    Posted on Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 12:21am