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Wisconsin Democrats Ask Governor Scott Walker to Drop Defense of Gay Marriage Ban

Scott walkerA group of 15 Democratic state senators in Wisconsin sent out a letter on Wednesday urging Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to drop their defense of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, arguing it’s a waste of taxpayer money.

Last week, Van Hollen filed an appeal to U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb’s June 6 ruling that overturned the state’s ban. Walker is named defendant in the lawsuit.

The AP reports:

Walker spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster says "Walker takes seriously the oath of office that he took to support the Wisconsin Constitution. If others do not take that oath seriously, that is their decision."

Van Hollen's spokeswoman Dana Brueck says he is fulfilling his oath and doing his job.

Arguments are set to be heard before the Seventh Circuit Court in Chicago on August 13. 


Wisconsin Finally Appeals Ruling Striking Down State's Gay Marriage Ban

Wisconsin has finally decided to appeal the ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban, the AP reports:

VanhollenU.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled on June 6 that the ban, approved by voters in 2006, was a violation of gay couples' equal protection and due process rights. More than 500 same-sex couples got married in the state before Crabb put her ruling on hold a week later, pending the expected appeal from Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.

The case now heads to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

Wisconsin had until July 21 to file an appeal but decided to do it now to keep pace with Indiana's which is also at the 7th Circuit, and has been expedited.


Republican Governor Scott Walker's Son Acted As Witness In Gay Marriage

Walkers

Alex Walker, the son of Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker, served as one of the legal witnesses at the marriage of a same-sex couple who was wed on June 9, The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports:  

WeddingRecords show Shelli Marquardt and Cathy Priem [pictured right] married at the Waukesha County Courthouse on June 9. Alex Walker, 19, scribbled his signature on the marriage certificate as one of two adult witnesses to the wedding. The certificate is on file with the Waukesha County register of deeds.

Laurel Patrick, a spokeswoman for the governor, confirmed Thursday that Walker's son was present for the event for the lesbian couple. One of the two women, Patrick noted, is a relative of first lady Tonette Walker.

"Shelli Marquardt is the first lady's cousin," Patrick said in a statement. "She is a part of the Walker family who they dearly love." [...]

Marquardt and Priem are listed, along with Walker and his wife, as hosts of an Independence Day barbecue starting at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Executive Residence. Both Marquardt and Priem are past donors to Walker's campaign fund, having given a total of $1,678. [...]

Patrick did not say whether the governor or first lady attended the same-sex wedding last month. Alex Walker did not respond to emails on Thursday.

Governor Walker has a complicated past with marriage equality. Despite having been a supporter of the 2006 constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage in Wisconsin and supporting the state's Attorney General in requesting a stay of the ruling that overturned the marriage ban, he commented that, “I'm not going to pretend to tell a federal judge in that regard what he or she should do about it...I don't know what (allowing gay marriage) means. Voters don't talk to me about that.” 

Walker has continued his evasive tactics by saying he simply will not state a position on gay marriage at this point because it doesn't make any difference what he believes. As The Journal-Sentinel points out, "Asked June 12 if he were rethinking his views on gay marriage, the first-term Republican governor — and possible presidential contender — said: 'No, I'm just not stating one at all.'"

[Images via Twitter and Facebook]


Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI): To Win Elections, GOP Must Agree with Voters on Gay Marriage: VIDEO

Ron_johnson

Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin appeared on CNBC's Squawk Box this week, and his strategy for bolstering the GOP in upcoming elections was anything but conventional. Johnson called himself "a pretty traditional guy" and said that he believes "marriage is between a man and a woman." However, the Republican stated that his fellow party members need to focus less on social issues like abortion and marriage equality and stick to their economic policy, citing the legitimacy of the voting public's beliefs and state-by-state passage of same-sex marriage laws. 

Watch the Squawk Box segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

Think Progress reports:

The senator’s policy hasn’t always matched his rhetoric, however. He is signed on this Congress as a co-sponsor of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to institute federal limits on abortion and the DC Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The measure would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Johnson may have turned over a new leaf now that his state's same-sex marriage ban has been struck down (though it is in the appeal stages) and Wisconsinites voted for Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay senator, in the 2012 election cycle.

Continue reading "Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI): To Win Elections, GOP Must Agree with Voters on Gay Marriage: VIDEO" »


ACLU Urges Wisconsin Attorney General to Make a Decision on Appeal of Marriage Ruling

In an open letter to Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (pictured), the American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Wisconsin have called for Van Hollen to decide whether or not to appeal the recent ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban.

6a00d8341c730253ef01a511cc9804970c-300wiFor now, Judge Crabb's order is suspended, pending the possible appeals from Governor Scott Walker or Attorney General Van Hollen. While Walker seems hesitant to take a definite stand on this issue, on numerous past occasions Van Hollen has stated it would be his intention to appeal.

In the above-linked letter, John Knight and Larry Dupuis of the ACLU explain the need for prompt action in this matter:

 Our clients and other same-sex couples in Wisconsin are faced with the continuing indignity of seeing their families denigrated by the state’s refusal to allow them to marry or to recognize their marriages entered elsewhere... Even if you [Van Hollen] believe you will win, please file your appeal promptly to resolve the uncertainty that same-sex couples, their children, as well as employers and other businesses and government offices who interact with same-sex couples are facing until the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s ban on marriage is resolved.


Pat Robertson 'Disgusted' By Courts Attacking Christians: VIDEO

Pat Robertson

On Monday the Seventh Circuit Court ruled that Milwaukee, Wisconsin's Elmbrook School District could not hold its graduation ceremonies at an evangelical Christian church. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy justified the ruling by stating that while adults are free to leave the room in social settings when they encounter disagreeable speech, students at a graduation are a captive audience and that holding a public school graduation at a church violates the Constitution. The school district appealed and the Supreme Court ultimately declined to hear the appeal.

Cue Pat Robertson and his entitled, crazy indignation that somehow links it all to homosexuality because of course he does. Said Robertson:

The American people wouldn’t have voted in homosexuality, but the courts did; the American people wouldn’t have voted in same-sex marriage, but the courts did; the American people wouldn’t have given up on the Ten Commandments and prayer in schools, but the courts insisted on it. A few unelected judges, just a few, have distorted the history of our nation to give us something that we never intended to have, and something has got to be done about it.

You can listen to Robertson speak for himself AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Pat Robertson 'Disgusted' By Courts Attacking Christians: VIDEO" »


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