Wisconsin high court upholds marriage ban

The Wisconsin Supreme Court this a.m. upheld the state’s same-sex marriage ban in a unanimous decision. A lawsuit alleged that the referendum on the state’s 2006 constitutional amendment was improper because it dealt with both marriage and civil unions:

The court rejected a lawsuit that claimed the amendment violated a rule that limits referendum questions to a single subject. The lawsuit, filed by a voter opposed to the amendment, argued that gay marriage and civil unions were two different subjects.

Justice Michael Gableman says both sentences “carry out the same general purpose of preserving the legal status of marriage in Wisconsin as between only one man and one woman.”

The plaintiffs in the Wisconsin case argued that some voters may oppose same-sex marriage but support civil unions. Therefore, they said, the referendum violated their free speech rights.

Texas, of course, has a similarly worded amendment. The 2005 Texas amendment bans both same-sex marriage and “any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”

—  John Wright