Wis. Democrats push for marriage equality measure


It's national marriage week, proclaimed by Governor Scott Walker. But today, state lawmakers spoke out today against Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage.

The states an island, surrounded by Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. All allowing gay marriage, lawmakers say it makes it very easy for folks to move across the boarder to equality.

Liz Dannenbaum and Donna Winter live in Madison. They've been together for years and say they're just like any other couple.

"We're homeowners, taxpayers, citizens, and we used to really love living in Wisconsin," says Liz Dannenbaum.

But since 2006, when the constitution banned gay marriage, they say they don't feel welcome anymore.

"For all these years how would you like to love someone and not be valued for a real relationship when you pay taxes, you do all the things that everyone else does," says Donna Winter.

"Tomorrow's Valentines day, and many of you out there can get married you have a loving caring spouse and committed relationships," says Democratic Senator, Tim Carpenter.

He unveiled his amendment today to the states constitution, it would repeal Wisconsin's gay marriage ban.

"I still remember the day in 2006 when 59% of Wisconsin votes did vote on a ban on marriage equality. I still remember crying myself to sleep that night," says openly bisexual Representative, JoCasta Zamarripa, also fighting for the bill. "We deserve equality we deserve to enjoy the rights and benefits of marriage just like our straight allies do."

"Somebody asked me, why couldn't you get married in another state? No. I'm going to get married in the state I'm proud to live in," says Winter.

Senator Carpenter says even if Liz and Donna were to cross state lines to get hitched, they'd have to stay there. Coming back to Wisconsin after getting married in another state could cost them a hefty fine of $10,000 or 9 months in prison.

"I want to let folks know that were very serious about this and we're not going to quit until we have marriage equality in the state of Wisconsin."

Senator Carpenter says in his lifetime biracial marriage was banned. He says he hopes one day soon people will look at a ban on same sex marriage the same way.

Posted Thursday, February 13, 2014 --- 11:27 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- An openly gay Milwaukee legislator has introduced a constitutional amendment that would repeal Wisconsin's gay marriage ban.

Democratic Sen. Tim Carpenter unveiled the amendment in the state Capitol flanked by a longtime gay couple from Madison and Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, a bisexual Milwaukee Democrat.

Carpenter said the state's ban makes Wisconsin an island, noting Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois have moved to allow same-sex marriages. Wisconsin's remaining 14 Democratic senators co-sponsored the legislation, which faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The proposal comes a week after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit that also challenges the state's gay marriage law. Fifty-nine percent of voters passed the ban in 2006.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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