Relaymedia

Winsconsin Assembly Prohibits Homosexual Union: Votes 68-27

( [email protected] ) Mar 05, 2004 02:46 PM EST

WISCONSIN -- After an all-night debate between the lawmakers, the Wisconsin Assembly finally approved a proposed amendment to the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriages or civil unions today morning by a vote of 68-27. Now the proposal must pass both houses of the Legislature twice and be approved by voters before it can take effect.

"Amending our statutes is not going to address the problem," said Republican Rep. Mark Gundrum, the amendment's main author. "We need to have this in our state constitution or we are every bit as vulnerable to activists judges instituting same-sex marriage as they did in Massachusetts."

Along with Wisconsin, Kansas House pushed the amendment to ban gay marriages and the granting of benefits associated with marriage to other relationships by a vote of 88-36.

However in Idaho, the Senate failed on a 20-13 vote to pass the measure. Amendment opponents asserted that it was unnecessary to amend the Constitution since the state already pass the law banning gay marriage which was passed in 1996.

Fourteen states are trying to amend their constitutions to ban same-sex marriages this year. In recent years 38 states have taken action to ban same-sex marriages passing Defense of Marriage laws and four have already amended their own constitutions to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Following is a brief update on what has been going on with homosexual marriage issue across the nation according to Associate Press:

--- Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox sent a letter to the Wayne County clerk saying state law prohibits marriage licenses being issued to same-sex couples. Earlier this week, in Wayne County a half dozen same-sex couples were refused marriage licenses.

--- New Paltz, N.Y., Mayor Jason West postponed a second round of same-sex weddings planned for Saturday so he can consult with state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer next week.

--- About 50 gay couples in New York's Long Island were searching for a town clerk willing to issue them marriage licenses riding city to city but found no success.

--- Lawyers for San Francisco planned Friday to answer efforts by California's attorney general and gay marriage opponents to invalidate thousands of same-sex marriages performed in the last three weeks. The lawyers expected to tell the state Supreme Court that nothing in the state constitution requires local officials to obey laws they believe are unconstitutional.