How will the Supreme Court ruling affect Wisconsin? - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

How will the Supreme Court ruling affect Wisconsin?


The state of Wisconsin does not allow same-sex marriage. The supreme court's ruling to strike down a key section of the defense of marriage act and also give a boost to gay rights in California won't change that. Still, it could have an impact on our state.

For Shannon Thomas Wednesday's ruling on gay marriage is a big step forward.

"Having this decision made federally I hope will open up a lot of eyes," said Thomas.

Right now, the state of Wisconsin prohibits same sex marriage. That ruling was made in 2006. But Thomas hopes this latest ruling could be a stepping stone to change that.

"It's going to be a great argument for our local courts and it's a great thing to use as we continue to fight for same sex equality," said Thomas.

In fact a public policy poll released in February showed support for it has increased in our state. Forty-four percent of people polled were in favor of changing the law. That's up two percent from last year. Although, 46 percent are still opposed.

"Wisconsin public opinion isn't really out of whack with national opinion," said John Blakeman, Associate Professor and Chair of the Political Science department at UW-Stevens Point.

Blakeman said overturning the 2006 vote would require changing the state constitution, again.

It's something they don't expect to happen anytime soon.

"I don't think there's a solid consensus in this state to repeal the constitutional amendment just yet,"said Blakeman.

Not everyone is happy with the ruling. The Valley Baptist Church Pastor worries that this could open up other questions.

"So now, why not two men and one woman. Why not two women and one man. So, where do you stop with that? And, now how can you go to people who want to practice polygamy, for example, and say OK that's wrong," said Larry Creamer.

This certainly isn't the end of the debate. It's still up to each state to allow gay marriage. That means here in Wisconsin nothing will change right now.

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