Updated: Tuesday, 26 May 2009, 9:48 PM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 26 May 2009, 9:48 PM CDT
WISCONSIN - While an embattled marriage amendment drew masses in California, the high courts decision was on the minds of many in Wisconsin.
Like California, Wisconsin's Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case challenging its voter-approved ban on same sex marriage.
Bill McConkey of Baileys Harbor brought the suit, claiming the referendum decided two separate questions, whether to ban gay marriage and whether to ban civil unions with one vote.
"California has a strong civil tradition, some very strong civil union laws, we weren't even allowed that in Wisconsin," Bill McConkey of Baileys Harbor said. "So, ours is an entirely different subject, ours is all about was our amendment worded correctly, and I'm claiming it was not."
While disappointed in the California ruling, McConkey feels his challenge could succeed.
But, Julaine Appling with the Wisconsin Family Council says voters understood the amendment and made their choice clear.
"Nearly 60 percent of the people said in November of 2006 they wanted marriage protected and they didn't want marriage by another name or a look-a-like marriage," she said.
But, Appling says a recent plan by Governor Jim Doyle to provide some legal protections for same sex couples, runs around the people's will.
The proposal would provide gay and lesbian couples who register their partnership with 43 of the 200 some benefits of marriage, including the ability to visit each other in the hospital and inherit assets.
"People on the other side like to say that we're trying to get marriage by another name and really that's not what the domestic partnership provisions that are in the Governor's budget would do," Glenn Carlson with advocacy group Fair Wisconsin said.
Supporters call the plan a step towards equality.
"There's no such thing as fair, but it's the only fair thing to do," McConkey said.
While opponents feel it's irresponsible, in our economic climate.
"That budget proposal will cost some money, it's not coming without a price tag," Appling said.
The joint finance committee has approved the measure, it will move to the assembly next.