Wisconsin State Capitol (file photo)
Updated: Monday, 02 Nov 2009, 12:36 PM CST
Published : Monday, 02 Nov 2009, 12:36 PM CST
MADISON - The state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a Northeast Wisconsin man’s appeal of a lost lawsuit over Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage referendum.
William McConkey of Baileys Harbor sued the state in May, arguing a 2006 referendum which led to a statewide ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The ballot measure read, in part, "that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state and that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."
McConkey, who has a homosexual daughter, argued that the first part of the referendum question limiting marriage to only one man and one woman was a separate subject from the second part of the question addressing any similar legal status to marriage for unmarried individuals. McConkey argued that if the propositions had been put forth separately, a significant number of voters may have voted yes on one question and no on the other. He also said the question violated a provision in Wisconsin’s constitution requiring referendum questions to only deal with one subject.
A Dane County judge ruled McConkey did not have standing to challenge the constitutionality of the marriage amendment, and that the referendum question was legal because both questions related to the same subject.
McConkey appealed, and the appeals court turned the case over to the Supreme Court because of its broad impact. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case Tuesday morning. A final decision will be made in writing later.
FOX 11 News will have a crew in Madison to cover the arguments. Watch fox11online.com and FOX 11 News at Five and Nine for the latest.