Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mark Green Continues to Avoid Tough Questions

All politicians like to avoid controversy, but, so far in this gubernatorial race, Mark Green has made side-stepping tough questions a hobby.

The latest avoidance comes on the question of the proposed marriage and civil unions ban, which is the featured "Issue of the Day" in the Journal-Sentinel PoliticsWatch blog today.

Here's the language of the ban: "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."

While I oppose both sentences in the ban, clearly the more controversial of the two is the second sentence. If the ban stopped at the first sentence, there's no question it would pass in November. As it stands, however, the passage is not guaranteed -- and that fact is entirely due to the questionable effects of the second sentence.

Here's Green's response to whether he supports the ban: "I believe that marriage should be clearly defined as being between one man and one woman. So, yes, I support the amendment."

Green completely avoids the second sentence of the ban in his response. He says nothing about the impact of the ban on civil unions -- which a majority of the state supports -- nor does he get into the potential impact of the ban on such things as public domestic partner benefits or any of the other legal protections of marriage for non-married couples across the state.

Doyle's response, on the other hand, takes into account the full language of the ban: "Wisconsin already outlaws gay marriage. This amendment is unnecessary, and was only intended to divide people. Worse, it would make it impossible for some people to make final medical or inheritance decisions for a loved one. Instead of dividing our state, we should find ways to bring people together."

If Green supports the entire amendment, why isn't he willing to explain why?

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