As you know, Wisconsin voted last week to restrict marriage to a man and a woman. Pretty shitty, right? It’s the kind of news that makes you want to move to Mexico, where civil unions have just passed. But don’t break out the sombrero yet, Wisconsinites, because Democratic Senator Jon Erpenbach‘s got a plan to take a bit of the bite out of the bill.
Written by some pretty staunch conservatives, the bill not only bans homo-nups, but also also limits certain rights for straights, such as domestic partner benefits. Insisting the bill’s too broad, Erpenbach (pictured) wants to tweak the language a bit. Don’t get too excited, though. He’s not looking to open the door to “marriage”, although his efforts may open the door to civil unions.
The Capital Times reports:
Erpenbach said Friday his proposal would honor the ban on gay marriages, but rectify potential problems in the second sentence of the referendum, which he said stripped legal rights from straight and same-sex unmarried couples. Those protections include the right to receive domestic partner benefits and have legally binding contracts, including wills.
In addition to expanding certain rights, Erpenbach’s also hoping to add the homos to the state’s anti-discrimination amendment. (Which, really, should have been done a long time ago…)
While it’s easy to get excited about by all this, Erpenbach’s got his work cut out for him. After drafting the amendment, it will have to pass it in both the state Assembly and the state Senate. While the Democrats totally rule the Senate, the GOP still maintains control of the Assembly.
If, by some miracle, Erpenbach can get both branches to approve the amendment, Wisconsin will hold a state-wide referendum. Given that 59% of Wisconsin voters used their power to implement the ban, however, certainly doesn’t bode well.
Still, let’s not be defeatists. Better to stay optimistic, right?