Thursday, June 22, 2006

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Opposes Marriage Ban

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (WDC), a nonpartisan group focused on strengthening democracy in the state, has come out in strong opposition to the proposed constitutional ban on marriage and civil unions.

According to a WDC statement: "The effort to ban gay marriage and civil unions by amending the state Constitution does serious harm to the principles and institutions of democracy in Wisconsin, disrespects and disregards essential checks and balances in the policymaking process, and misuses the Constitution for purposes that are neither legitimate nor in keeping with the intentions of the Constitution’s framers."

This is an important statement because it adds an element to the debate that isn't getting much focus -- the democratic ethics of the state. Much of the emphasis thus far has been on how the ban is personally discriminatory toward non-married couples, which is certainly a justifiable concern.

But as the WDC points out, there are also consequences of institutionalizing discrimination that tear at the very fabric of our civic nature. Regardless of your personal sexual orientation, politics, or belief system, that is something that should concern all members of our society.

To show your support for defeating the ban, consider donating $30 to Fair Wisconsin by the end of this month as part of the group's "$30 by June 30th" drive (explained here).

If you don't have any funds to contribute, simply taking the time to talk to others about the negative impact of the ban between now and November is a significant and welcome sign of support.

And, of course, voting against the ban when the time comes also helps.

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