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 acase challenging its voter-approved ban on same sex marriage.
Bill McConkey of Baileys Harbor brought the suit, claiming thereferendum decided two separate questions, whether to ban gaymarriage and whether to ban civil unions with one vote.
"California has a strong civil tradition, some very strong civilunion laws, we weren't even allowed that in Wisconsin," BillMcConkey of Baileys Harbor said. "So, ours is an entirely differentsubject, ours is all about was our amendment worded correctly, andI'm claiming it was not."
While disappointed in the California ruling, McConkey feels hischallenge could succeed.
But, Julaine Appling with the Wisconsin Family Council saysvoters understood the amendment and made their choice clear.
"Nearly 60 percent of the people said in November of 2006 theywanted marriage protected and they didn't want marriage by anothername or a look-a-like marriage," she said.
But, Appling says a recent plan by Governor Jim Doyle to providesome legal protections for same sex couples, runs around thepeople's will.
The proposal would provide gay and lesbian couples who registertheir partnership with 43 of the 200 some benefits of marriage,including the ability to visit each other in the hospital andinherit assets.
"People on the other side like to say that we're trying to getmarriage by another name and really that's not what the domesticpartnership 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 todo," McConkey said.
While opponents feel it's irresponsible, in our economicclimate.
"That budget proposal will cost some money, it's not comingwithout a price tag," Appling said.
The joint finance committee has approved the measure, it willmove to the assembly next.
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