Relaymedia

Wisconsin and Kansas Pass Amendment Banning Homosexual Marriage

( [email protected] ) Feb 25, 2004 11:40 AM EST

Legislative committee of the Wisconsin and Kansas state approved to amend the constitution to ban homosexual marriage Tuesday.

Under the new amendment, neither homosexual marriage nor civil unions for the gay couples would be sanctioned.

In Wisconsin, the amendment was passed by a vote of 6-1. The amendment must pass both houses of the legislature and be approved by voters in a statewide referendum before it can take effect.

Although Wisconsin has already defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman, Rep. Mark Gundrum, one of the amendment’s main sponsors and the chair of the judiciary committee, said the new amendment was needed to prevent judges from sanctioning homosexual marriages.

"Our supreme court could do the same thing," Gundrum said, as he was referring to the Massachusetts supreme judicial court, which has ruled barring homosexual marriages as unconditional. "This constitutional amendment will protect against an active judiciary. This is about trying to preserve what has always been."

Kansas also has a law that defines valid marriage as between one man and one woman but just as Wisconsin, the Republican legislators of Kansas explained the new amendment was needed to prevent the court from taking any action in favor of the gay marriage.

"There's no evidence that gay families create the stability in society we're looking for," said Rep. Dan Williams (R-Olathe).