Showing posts with label Wisconsin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wisconsin. Show all posts

August 11, 2014

Madison Wisconsin is Showing Pride instead of cheese

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people still face discrimination, and as an asexual individual, Roger Whitestone can relate to that.
Whitestone, 49, who used a pseudonym to protect his 80-year-old parents who may not understand his sexuality, said that he has always felt a certain kinship toward LGBT people.
That’s why he came to the Madison Pride Parade Sunday with his bike outfitted in solidarity with the gay community.
“We all grew up feeling very different from the rest of society,” he said, noting that asexuals are an even smaller minority than those in the LGBT community but face less discrimination.
“Asexuals don’t like having sex, but it’s such the norm for everybody. Society perceives it as normal to have sex,” Whitestone said, adding that it is often assumed that asexual people were abused, molested or are confronting reproductive medical problems.
“That’s not the case. Sex has always just been unsettling for me,” he said.
He came out Sunday to show the hypocrisy and the “arbitrary nature of the current marriage laws and civil rights laws.”
Almost 60 different groups, with or without floats or vehicles, took part in the parade, which convened at the new Central Park and marched up Williamson Street to Capitol Square. The parade encircled the Capitol and ended at the top of State Street with a rally and live music.
Dozens of businesses, nonprofit organizations and gay bars took part, as well as politicians of all stripes. Law enforcement leaders were also on hand. Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney rode his motorcycle at the front of the parade with local members of Dykes on Bikes, a national organization of lesbian motorcycle riders. Police Chief Mike Koval pushed a jogging stroller.
Marchers held signs that read “Love is love,” “Love wins,” and “Marriage equality for all.”
Dane County clerk Scott McDonell marched with Renee Currie and Shari Roll, the first same-sex couple in Dane County to receive a marriage license. The couple married in June after a federal court ruling briefly struck down Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage.
For the first time in its 25-year history, the Madison gay Pride Parade was organized by OutReach, a Madison-based advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
OutReach took over the parade this year after it was canceled last year by its former organizer, Wisconsin Capitol Pride, which cited a lack of money and volunteers.
Steve Starkey, executive director of OutReach, said his group raised about $22,000 to hire about 25 police officers and rent the barricades and equipment necessary for street closure. They also used money to pay for publicity.
The Pride Parade, which since its inception in 1989 has been led by four different organizations, is a very public demonstration of support for LGBT rights, Starkey said.
“We’ve made a lot progress in terms of our rights, but there’s a lot of discrimination,” he said. “There are still laws that need to be changed that give LGBT people equality and the same kind of protection that the general population has.”
Samara Kalk Derby covers events in and around Madison on Sundays. If you have an idea for Around Town, contact her at or 608-252-6439.

June 14, 2014

A Hiccup on Wisconsin Gay Marriage when Judge that declared it legal halts it

 Gov trying to stay out of it
 A federal judge on Friday put same-sex marriages in Wisconsin on temporary hold pending appeals of her ruling one week ago that the state’s ban on gay nuptials is unconstitutional.
U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb said she was issuing the stay at the request of Wisconsin officials who are appealing her decision and to avoid further confusion among county clerks, who have issued hundreds of marriage licenses.
Crabb wrote in her opinion that she was required to follow the guidance of the U.S. Supreme Court and issue a stay, despite finding it difficult "after seeing expressions of joy on the faces of so many newly wedded couples."
County clerks around Wisconsin have issued hundreds of marriage licenses to same-sex couples since Crabb ruled last Friday that the state ban adopted in 2006 violated the U.S. Constitution.
According to Fair Wisconsin, an LGBT advocacy organization, 61 of the state's 72 county clerks have issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples since the ruling. A Reuters tally found that more than 500 gay couples have applied for or have been granted a marriage license in Wisconsin in the past week
The cause:
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen requested that Crabb's ruling be put on hold. Crabb last week declared the state's ban unconstitutional but did not tell the state how to proceed. On Friday she issued an order saying the weddings are legal, but then put it on hold per Van Hollen's request.
All but 12 of Wisconsin’s 72 county clerks began issuing licenses to same-sex couples after Crabb's ruling last week, even though Van Hollen had argued that was premature

CLICK HERE to read the ruling issued on Friday, June 13.

June 13, 2014

Rabidly anti gay marriage Wisconsin governor says “his views don’t matter”


Gov. Scott Walker has a history of forcefully opposing same-sex marriage in Wisconsin, but in the wake of the state's ban on gay marriages being found unconstitutional the Republican leader said Thursday that his own views about the issue do not matter.
Walker, who is running for re-election this year and eyeing a bid for president in 2016, continued to largely duck questions about the state's ban he voted for in 2006, as hundreds of gay couples wed in the last week and polls show public attitudes shifting in favor of allowing same-sex marriages.
Walker campaigned strongly in support of the ban nine years ago.
"We must change the Wisconsin State Constitution to say that marriage is to be between one man and one woman," Walker said in November 2005 during a brief run for governor that year. "My belief in this position is even stronger today."
Walker joined with 59 percent of voters statewide to add the ban to the state constitution in 2006. Even though he pushed for it to be approved then, Walker now says his position is irrelevant.
"My position has been clear. I voted in the past. It really doesn't matter," Walker said in response to questions about the issue following a campaign event Thursday.
He also previously voted as a member of the state Assembly for a bill in 1997 to prohibit same-sex marriages and declare those conducted in other states to be invalid.
As Milwaukee County executive in 2009, Walker vetoed a measure to provide benefits to same-sex partners of county workers. And once elected governor, in 2011, he fired the state's attorney defending Wisconsin's domestic registry law. The state Supreme Court is currently weighing whether the registry violates the state ban on gay marriage.
But in May, Walker said he doesn't think it will be an issue in this year's governor's race.
"Voters don't talk to me about that," Walker said then, sidestepping questions about whether he still personally supported the ban. "They talk to me about the economy, they talk to me about their kids' schools, they talk to me about making sure we keep our finances in order."
Walker's reluctance to stick to his hard-line position may be explained by recent polls showing growing public support for same-sex marriages.
A Marquette University law school poll released in May found that 55 percent of registered Wisconsin voters favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. That was up from 44 percent in October 2012.
Walker's likely Democratic opponent in this year's race for governor, Mary Burke, supports legalizing same-sex marriage and said she voted against the 2006 constitutional ban.
"Finally recognizing that committed, loving Wisconsin couples have the freedom to marry whomever they choose represents an important step forward for our state," Burke said in a statement Thursday. "From strengthening our communities to making our state more competitive economically — marriage equality makes Wisconsin stronger."
The American Civil Liberties Union sued over the ban in February on behalf of eight same-sex couples. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb last week struck down the ban as unconstitutional, but did not give direction to state officials about what to do.
Sixty of Wisconsin's 72 county clerks had issued 555 marriage licenses to same-sex couples as of midday Thursday, based on a survey by The Associated Press.
Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said Thursday that those clerks risk being criminally charged by local district attorneys if they believe they are breaking the law by doing so. Van Hollen continues to ask both Crabb and a federal appeals court to put the ruling striking down the ban on hold while he appeals the case, a move that would force clerks to stop issuing licenses.
Both Republican and Democratic clerks, in both Republican and Democratic-voting counties, are issuing the licenses.
Associated Press writer Carrie Antlfinger contributed to this report from Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
 Scott Bauer on Twitter at

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