Gov. Scott Walker’s politics in this area have been careful and calculating. While Walker opposes equality, firing a lawyer defending Wisconsin’s domestic partnership registry and supporting continued appeals of a federal court ruling striking down Wisconsin’s marriage equality ban, he has been careful as governor not to often speak publicly on these issues.
Instead, his standard response had been that because he does not have a role in court decisions, his opinion does not matter. However, as a presidential candidate who needs to shore up support among the Republican base, Walker has been clear that he believes issues of LGBTQ equality, such as marriage equality, should be left to the states to decide on their own.
In a June 2015 interview, Walker affirmed his belief that marriage “is between one man and one woman”, and he indicated that if the Supreme Court upholds marriage equality, the next step would be to pursue a constitutional amendment.
Thousands of Wisconsinites have signed a One Wisconsin Now petition demanding Gov. Walker cease having Wisconsin do business with Indiana in light of the Hoosier state’s unprecedented attack on the LGBT community signed into law by Republican Gov. Mike Pence.[One Wisconsin Now, 04/03/2015]
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. The title “Governor of the State of Wisconsin” suggests that the holder of the office would consider the diversity of the entire state's population. As judged by his actions in office, Scott Walker has clearly failed in this regard.[One Wisconsin Now, 06/20/2013]
The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the state’s domestic partnership registry Thursday, ensuring same-sex couples will retain certain rights no matter how a federal court rules on the state’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. In a unanimous decision written by Justice N. Patrick Crooks, the court emphasized that proponents of the amendment, including Wisconsin Family Action executive director Julaine Appling, the lead plaintiff in the case, and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, made public statements in 2006 that the marriage amendment wouldn’t prevent the Legislature from granting certain rights to same-sex couples.[Capital Times, 03/24/2011]
After his 2010 election Walker fired Pines, leaving defense of the law up to gay rights advocate Fair Wisconsin and other interested parties that had intervened in the case. Pines said Thursday the state paid his firm $75,000 between Oct. 29, 2009, and June 28, 2011, for work on the case.[Capital Times, 03/24/2011]
Gov. Scott Walker has fired the lawyers defending the state in a challenge to Wisconsin's domestic partnership law. But the governor's spokesman said his office "is still working to appoint a new counsel to the case." Madison attorney Lester Pines informed Dane County Circuit Judge Daniel Moeser in a March 22 letter that his firm, Cullen Weston Pines & Bach, had been "terminated" by Walker as counsel for the state in the lawsuit filed in 2009 by Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, a conservative advocacy group.[Capital Times, 03/24/2011]
A Milwaukee County Board committee on Monday recommended that the full board sustain County Executive Scott Walker's veto of a measure that would lay the groundwork for granting domestic partner health benefits to county employees. The Personnel Committee voted 5-2 to uphold Walker's Nov. 16 veto. Walker and other opponents of the domestic partners measure said the benefit would be too costly at a time when the county faces serious budget problems.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/14/2009]
“I’ve had concerns about (county benefits) in general because of the cost. Quite frankly, I think people are fed up with a number of benefits given at the county level. The last thing we can do is be adding even more to it.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 04/21/2002]
The bill prohibited same sex marriages from occurring in Wisconsin and prohibited the state from recognizing a same sex marriage performed in another state where it was legal. (Assembly Journal)[1997 AB 104, 05/13/1997]