Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This week's Q Syndicate cartoon

Paul Berge
Racine Post
Nov 11, 2009

The anti-marriage movement overturned marriage equality in the state of Maine by repeating the ridiculous charge that allowing same-sex couples the rights and responsibilities of marriage would result in having to teach schoolchildren how gay people get it on. The pro-marriage side's efforts showing real-life families and how they are affected by marriage rights and the lack thereof couldn't win out against the frightening thought of some hypothetical kindergarten class learning what some hypothetical classmate's two daddies do in the bedroom by watching a hypothetical Colt video.

Meanwhile, here in Wisconsin, the state Supreme Court has declined to hear a Wisconsin Family Action lawsuit to overturn Domestic Partnership benefits in our state. Given the bought and paid for majority of conservative justices on the court, it seems unlikely that a majority of the court disagrees with the WFA position that domestic partnership benefits are a violation of the constitutional amendment approved by 1.2 million Wisconsin voters in 2006 which prohibits the state from recognizing same-sex marriages or any other "substantially similar" legal arrangement.

More likely, some of the conservatives didn't want to set a precedent by allowing WFA to skip over the lower courts by taking their case directly to the Supreme Court. That's simply my guess, since the court did not issue any statement with their decision; but that fits in with my suspicion that a majority reached the conclusion not to hear the case for entirely different reasons from each other.

The court has heard arguments in a separate case charging that the 2006 referendum on the constitutional amendment improperly put two separate questions before the voters in the same ballot issue: namely, whether the state would recognize same-sex marriages on the one hand, and whether the state would recognize "substantially similar" legal arrangements. Theoretically, a voter who was against same-sex marriage but in favor of allowing a "substantially similar" alternate arrangement would be forced to vote against his/her convictions with either a yes or a no vote. A decision in the case is still pending, but it's hard to imagine Gableman, Ziegler, Prosser and Crooks finding a conservative-sponsored constitutional amendment unconstitutional.

It's also hard to imagine that should our domestic partnership be nullified by the Supreme Court, Chris and I would be able to get our filing fees back.

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