Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Q2 on Gay "Marriage"--Owen's Answer and Ingrid's Response

From Boots: (see response updates below)

The question, in essence:

what are the possible court cases Wisconsinites could expect if it passes and if it fails?

The answer, in essence:

[See, e.g., in Massachusetts] Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that the state may not “deny the protections, benefits and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry.” [should the Amendment fail.]

[Should the Amendment pass] I suspect that some overzealous folks will sue to deny same-sex benefits. ...but they may progress substantially when concerning public employers. [They will be thrown out early if/when filed against private employers.]

For example, if the State of Wisconsin wants to extend insurance coverage to anyone who cohabitates, then that’s fine, but it would also have to include unmarried couples and roommates who are cohabitating. The qualifications for benefits would have to be crafted in a way that does not require the status of “marriage.”

In other words, passage will force "equal treatment" for extension of benefits by public bodies. Or (looking at it another way) passage will NOT favor gay "partnerships" over other "partnerships."

And that's fair, no? Or does "Fair Wisconsin"'s agenda simply favor homosexuals?


It’s about couples who have been together for 10, 20, 30 years or more. Couples doing all the hard work of caring for each other and raising families without the legal protections a marriage or a civil union could provide. It's about thousands of Wisconsin families who have strung together bits and pieces of legal protections for their partners and their children, and who are extremely concerned—rightfully so—about what will happen if the ban passes.

If we pass the ban, the first round of lawsuits will likely be aimed at public employers that currently offer domestic partner health packages.

(Several examples follow. However, either they have not been finally decided, OR they are within the "governmental units" category above--IOW, if benefits are to be awarded to "gay" couples, they most likely will have to be awarded to ALL co-habitors with a public-payroll non-marital person.)

And then there are the domestic violence cases. In Utah there’s a case pending. In Ohio, results are split. Some mid-level courts have ruled the ban doesn’t invalidate domestic violence laws as they pertain to unmarried survivors, and some ruled that it does. The state Supreme Court agreed to hear one abuser's appeal.

Unfortunately, Ingrid, this paragraph is FAR from "compelling" in terms of settled cases...

...polls continue to show a majority of Wisconsinites want to provide at least some legal recognition to gay families. They want their gay co-worker to have access to bereavement leave, their lesbian niece to have automatic hospital visitation rights for her partner, or their gay neighbors to share health and retirement benefits.

And it has been CLEARLY stated that these adjustments to civil law CAN be made under the Amendment, if passsed, with the possible exception of public-employee "bennie sharing."

Finally, it’s simply untrue that if we defeat the ban judges will automatically rule in favor of marriage equality.

This assertion is questionable, at best. The Abrahamson-majority WI Supremes have proven their willingness to overturn precedent which does not fit Screechin'Shirley's Social Agenda.

If the ban fails, we can continue the conversation and work towards a solution that a majority of Wisconsinites approve.

If it passes, that conversation is cut short.

Thank God.

Q2 goes to Owen. The response hangs on emotions, un-settled "cases," and the assertion that the Wisconsin Supreme Court will preserve the status quo, which is not likely with its current composition. The elements of the Responder's case which are sensible can (and most likely WILL be enacted: visitations and bereavement.) As to "domestic violence"--we already have substantial legislation dealing with assault and battery. Until 15-20 years ago, that was a very effective tool. Still is, if it's used properly by police agencies.

Summarily: there's good reason to affirm the current situation. PASS THE AMENDMENT.


Ingrid's 250-word rebut to Owen is up.

In brief, the rebuttal is non-responsive; it is more and more clear that defeating The Amendment serves only the interests of homosexual lovers, particularly in the area of "benefits."

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