A Video to All of You Who Voted to Write Hate Into Wisconsin’s Constitution

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The Courage Campaign, a California organization with a similar mission as One Wisconsin Now, has produced a powerful video about efforts to overturn more than 18,000 previously-legal same sex marriages in the Golden State.

http://www.couragecampaign.org/page/s/divorce

Despite some great gains for progressives in the last two years, one of the most distressing setbacks has been the continuing rejection of simple, equal rights for gays and lesbians.In Wisconsin, led by hate-mongering jackals like Scott Fitzgerald and Mark Gundrum, the constitutional amendment banning same sex unions and domestic partnerships unfortunately passed in one of Wisconsin’s most shameful acts of the last 25 years.

This despite the fact gay marriage was already illegal in Wisconsin.

Mouth-breathers like Fitzgerald and Gundrum thought they could use the amendment to drive up Republican votes in the November 2006 elections.

But seeing the pasting the GOP took here in Wisconsin, that strategy it didn’t work. In fact, it galvanized progressives across the state, particularly on university campuses where the spike in turnout because the Amendment and the war in Iraq led to a landslide victory for Gov. Doyle, retaking of state Senate for Democrats, huge pick-ups in the state Assembly and Steve Kagen’s win in the 8th Congressional District over loathsome John Gard.

Seeing Fitzgerald slink back to the minority was fun for all irked by his sneering sanctimony — especially given his endless mission to use state time and tax dollars to push a self-serving right wing agenda.

Screaming like a stuck pig that the legalization of same sex marriage in Massachusetts would bring the same here, Fitzgerald was informed by then-Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, “Despite the Massachusettes ruling, Scott Fitzgerald remains unable to marry a man in the state of Wisconsin.”

Fast forward to 2008 and even with record turn-out and optimism for progressives, California voters narrowly overturned same sex marriage in the state.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the right-wing legal team led by noted moralist voyeur Ken Starr, has filed a brief to end at 18,000 previously-recognized same sex marriages in California.

Oral arguments begin in March. Once again, who we are as a people will be tested. So far, on the issue of equal rights for gays and lesbian, we have in many ways failed.

But hope remains on the horizon. Younger people, exposed to the changing face of American families, are infinitely more tolerant than seniors and the Baby Boomers — not to say there aren’t great Boomer champions for equal rights and skunks born after 1965. But the numbers don’t lie and as the influence of Boomers fades and Generations X, Y and the Millenials graduate into full-time leaders, these hateful laws and amendments will be eventually overturned.

On that day, capitulation to homophobia will no longer be an accepted compromise to retaining power. Governing authority kept at the expense of denying an entire population its full rights will be recognized as worthless.

That day can’t come soon enough.

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Scot Ross served as Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now & the Institute from 2007 to 2019.