Tammy Baldwin on Gay Marriage Ban: ‘Regrettably, Wisconsinites Must Live with a State Constitution That Enshrines Discrimination’

Openly gay Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) responded to today's unanimous decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to uphold the state's ban on same-sex marriage:

Baldwin“Like many Wisconsinites, I am disappointed in the substantive effect of today’s Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in the case of McConkey v. J.B. Van Hollen, et al. The ballot initiative that spurred this case was more a matter of politics than principle.
Regrettably, Wisconsinites, including many LGBT families, must live with a state constitution that enshrines discrimination.
While the effect of this ruling is a setback in our effort to repeal the discriminatory constitutional amendment banning marriage equality and civil unions, we will continue our quest for equality.”


  1. Layla Miller says

    I’m Layla Miller I Know Stuff

    The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law is an idiomatic antithesis. When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the “letter”) of the law, but not the intent of those who wrote the law. Conversely, when one obeys the spirit of the law but not the letter, one is doing what the authors of the law intended, though not adhering to the literal wording.

    “Law” originally referred to legislative statute, but in the idiom may refer to any kind of rule. Intentionally following the letter of the law but not the spirit may be accomplished through exploiting technicalities, loopholes, and ambiguous language. Following the letter of the law but not the spirit is also a tactic used by oppressive governments.

  2. Fahd says

    Sorry, I am not familiar with Mr. Miller, but there’s always civil disobedience.

    Anyone know what Ms. Baldwin is doing to further “our quest for equality”?

  3. Dairyqueen says

    Boy that was a beaten puppy reaction. She is representing WI and this is the best she could do? I would be pissed and shame the courts for upholding the ban.

  4. JJ says

    Gay people gotta get out of Wisconsin, or fight back. Damn, people don’t get angry. Don’t people know that gays are equal citizens in other parts of the world? Seriously, gay Americans don’t know what they’re missing!

  5. Roland says

    The Wisconsin synod of the Lutheran Church is the most conservative and very homophobic. I wonder if that had any influence on what is going on here.

  6. jw says

    the court did not uphold the gay-ban. they just ruled that the ballot initiative did not violate the constitution which states that ballot initiatives must be on a singe topic. this lawsuit was trying to say that this ballot initiative was actually about multiple topics (same-sex marriage and civil unions) thus it was invalid. the court disagreed with that. there are other lawsuits pending that attack the ban in other ways that may be more successful.

  7. stephen says

    I feel for the residents of WI. After Prop 8 in CA it took me months to be able to even look at my fellow citizens without trying to discern if they had voted against my equality.

    It’s an awful feeling. It’s gotta suck to be the rep of a state that CONFIRMS your 2nd Class status, technicality or not.

  8. Zlick says

    Devil’s advocate here: From what I gather, the ban was upheld on the grounds that the vote was legal, not on substantive grounds. This wasn’t a decision on gay marriage, but rather one on the claimed technicality that the ballot initiative covered two questions (civil marriage and domestic partnerships). I really don’t think it’s too out of bounds for the court to have said, in essence, “really? two separate questions? We don’t think so.”

  9. says

    Legal technicalities that this ruling rested on aside, as a resident of Wisconsin (sadly NOT currently repped by Tammy as a result of the last redistricting) this feels like *another* mortal wound to anything resembling a progressive tradition here… I’m sorry, but I will ALWAYS believe that we deserve better than this bullshit!

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