Q.1: Do Wisconsin residents need to be concerned that traditional
marriage will be redefined through the legalization of so-called
A: Yes, absolutely.
A: On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first state
in the history of the United States of America to redefine traditional
marriage by legalizing so-called homosexual “marriage.”
This was done by a handful of elite judges who acted in opposition
to the will of the majority of the people of Massachusetts.
Q.3: But that is Massachusetts; this is Wisconsin. Why
does that affect us?
A: One provision of the United States Constitution generally
requires states to recognize the valid actions taken in other states.
In 1996, Congress was so concerned about the courts forcing one
state to recognize the so-called homosexual “marriages”
legalized in a different state that it passed the Federal Defense
of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA allows states to refuse to recognize
the so-called homosexual “marriages” from another state.
In addition, there is nothing in current Wisconsin law to prevent
Wisconsin judges from doing what the Massachusetts’ judges
Q.4: Since the Congress passed DOMA, what is the problem?
Aren’t Wisconsin citizens protected by DOMA?
A: No, Wisconsin citizens currently have no legal protection
against court-imposed legal homosexual “marriage.” DOMA
requires the states to pass a law or a constitutional amendment
making it clear that marriage is only between one man and one woman.
As of summer 2006, Wisconsin is still among the 7 states in the
nation that have not taken that action. We must act because
lawsuits could be filed any day seeking Wisconsin recognition of
a Massachusetts’ sanctioned homosexual “marriage.”
Q.5: So, what is the plan to quickly provide protection
A: Adopt an amendment to the Wisconsin constitution defining
marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Q.6: What is the process for adopting this state constitutional
A: In 2004, the state legislature passed a resolution to amend the
constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one
woman. This resolution passed again in the state legislature in late 2005 and early 2006, on what is called "second consideration." The amendment will be on the November 7, 2006, statewide ballot so the people of Wisconsin can vote on it.
Q.7: What is the wording of the referendum that will beon the ballot in November?
A: “Marriage. Shall section 13 of article XIII of the constitution be
created to provide that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be
valid or recognized as a marriage in this state and that a legal status identical or
substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid
or recognized in this state?”
Q.8: What is the purpose of the second part?
A: The purpose is to protect the people of Wisconsin from
having a court impose “look-alike” or “Vermont-style”
homosexual “marriage,” which Vermont legalized as “civil
unions.” These civil unions are simply marriage by another
name. They are a legally exact replica of marriage, but without
the title. The second part to Wisconsin’s marriage
amendment protects citizens from having a court impose, against
their will, this type of arrangement here, regardless of the name
given to it.
Q.9: Homosexual “marriage” proponents say
the second part means private domestic partnership benefits
and local government benefit arrangements will be struck down under
this language. Is that true?
A: No. This is a scare tactic designed to distract citizens
from the issue of saving traditional marriage. There is nothing
in the second sentence that would prohibit currently existing benefit
arrangements, such as hospital visitations or private property transfer, nor prevent such arrangements in the future.
Q.10: Is it still necessary to pass the Federal Marriage
Amendment? What is the relationship between the state and federal
marriage protection amendments?
A: Yes. It is still necessary to pass the Federal Marriage
Amendment because the US Supreme Court could declare the federal
Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and require all other states
to recognize Massachusetts’ legal homosexual “marriages.”
So the only 100% sure way to save traditional marriage is to pass
the Federal Marriage Amendment. In order to do this, it must pass
the US House and Senate by a 2/3 vote and be approved or ratified
by 3/4 of the states. Experts tell us this could take up to 7 years.
That is why in the meantime, Wisconsin must pass our state constitutional
amendment because without it we are among the few states currently
most vulnerable to having in-state homosexual couples “married”
in Massachusetts only to seek recognition back home. We must ensure
traditional marriage has the strongest legal protection possible
at the state level.
Q.11: How would so-called homosexual “marriage” hurt traditional marriage, children and families?
A: There are 4 main ways:
1) Marriage is about the next generation. Legal sanction of so-called
homosexual “marriage” would always deny children either
a mother or a father. A compassionate and loving society always
comes to the aid of motherless and fatherless families. It never
intentionally creates such families, and yet that is what homosexual
“marriage” would do. These types of homosexual families
are based on the desires of the adults, not the needs of the children.
No child-development theory says children need parents of the same
gender, but rather that children need their mothers and fathers.
2) Homosexual “marriage” is a vast, untested social
experiment with children. No society, at any time, has ever raised
a generation of children in homosexual families. In this instance,
children are allowed to become the subject of sociological experiments
for the sake of adult sexual desires.
3) If marriage is redefined to include two people of the same gender,
where would it stop? How do we say no to group marriage? If
marriage is simply about love and commitment, on what basis do we
deny group marriage? There are already lawsuits underway challenging
the laws that prohibit polygamy on the same grounds as used by homosexual
“marriage” proponents. Is it bigotry and discrimination
to oppose polygamy and group marriage? Of course not. Just like
it is not bigotry or discrimination to protect the traditional and
historical institution of marriage as one man and one woman.
4) If so-called homosexual “marriage” is legalized,
school children will be taught it is the same as traditional marriage.
The people of Wisconsin don’t believe homosexual “marriage”
is the same as traditional marriage. Yet if we allow the legalization
of so-called homosexual “marriage,” this will happen.
There are already books written for small school children, such
as Heather Has Two Mommies, Daddy’s Roommate and King and
Q.12: Are either the state or federal constitutional amendments
about “enshrining discrimination” into our Constitution?
A: No. Traditional marriage is a bedrock institution of
our communities, state, nation and society. It is not discriminatory.
It is foundational. Protecting its historic definition for the sake
of our children and our future is both wise and courageous, not
discriminatory. Most people in Wisconsin believe homosexuals have
a personal right to live as they choose. But most people also believe
homosexuals don’t have a right to redefine marriage for all
of society. Unless we pass the constitutional amendment protecting
traditional marriage, that is what will happen.
Q.13: Where do the people stand on this issue?
A: Squarely on the side of traditional marriage. National
and statewide polls have consistently shown solid support among
the majority of people for one-man, one-woman marriage.
I want to save traditional marriage in Wisconsin. What can I do?
1) Distribute copies of the Coalition's brochure in your community, or at your church, civic or community organization
or event (festival, parade, fair, etc.). (Contact Wisconsin Coalition for Traditional Marriage via e-mail or by calling toll-free 1-866-478-9286.)
2) Talk to friends, family members, co-workers, anyone in your sphere of influence about the importance of preserving traditional marriage in Wisconsin and about how they can help.
3) Contact your US Senators and Representative and ask them to
support the Federal Marriage Amendment.
4) Consider a financial gift to Wisconsin Coalition for Traditional
Marriage. The Coalition is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. All gifts and contributions are tax deductible to the limit of the law.