Post submitted by Paul Guequierre, HRC Deputy Communications Director
Wisconsinites say it’s time to rid their state constitution of discrimination and repeal the ban on marriage equality. That’s according to a new poll released today by Marquette University. The poll found 59 percent favor repealing the 2006 constitutional amendment, while 36 percent would continue the ban against marriage equality. Overall, 48 percent backed marriage equality, while 24 percent supported civil unions and another 24 percent said there should be no legal status for gay and lesbian couples.
While Wisconsin lags behind neighboring Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota in extending equal marriage rights to its gay and lesbian residents, the Badger state has a history of firsts in LGBT history. In 1982 Wisconsin became the first state to outlaw discrimination in employment and housing based on sexual orientation. Unfortunately gender identity is still not protected under state law. Also, when Tammy Baldwin was elected to Congress from Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District in 1998, she became the first openly gay person elected to Congress as a non-incumbent. In 2012 Wisconsin voters sent Tammy to the U.S. Senate and in 2013 she became the first openly gay U.S. Senator in history.