Day three of National Marriage Week in Wisconsin focuses on our elected leaders, and the harm their policies have done to gays and lesbians in the state.
Governor Scott Walker, during his tenure as Milwaukee County Executive, vetoed a measure that would have simply studied the idea of domestic partnership benefits for county employees. Eye on Wisconsin rightly called the act “blowing a right wing dog whistle” while campaigning for the Republican nomination for governor. Putting politics over people accounts for many rungs on Walker’s career ladder.
Emily Mills notes the hardships Walker and his ilk inflict on the citizens of Wisconsin “…by spreading a message of discrimination and rejection that bleeds through society as a whole.”
During Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch’s campaign, she compared Wisconsin’s domestic partner registry to allowing people to marry dogs. The registry only grants couples roughly one-fifth the rights of a married couple, but a reasonable assessment of the registry clearly isn’t capable given Kleefisch’s rhetoric. Her social positions are so extreme when she became Walker’s running mate, her “issues” page was taken down and became a link to Walker’s, which featured no overt anti-gay sentiment.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald brags on his campaign website about being “lead author of the constitutional amendment…defining and protecting marriage in Wisconsin as a union between one man and one woman.” That unfortunate amendment is nothing but an example of all the bad democracy can accomplish.
Steve Hanson at Uppity Wisconsin notes “Julaine Appling and her group [Wisconsin Family Council] have not been satisfied with denying marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples in the state, but are now also fighting the ability of couples to have other legal rights if they are state employees.” WFC will find a willing partner in Governor Walker. The camps appear to be buddy-buddy, if Appling’s praise of Walker’s economic agenda is any evidence.
At this point it should be clear that Republicans in Wisconsin value anti-gay discrimination as an asset on the campaign trail.
Join the celebration — National Marriage Week, For Everyone.