Wisconsin Democratic platform includes marriage equality

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Wisconsin Democrats are calling for marriage equality in their 2012 platform.

The platform reads: “We support marriage equality for all couples.”

Under party rules, each congressional district convention can forward 10 resolutions to the state convention and the resolutions adopted by delegates to the state convention form the basis of the party’s platform.

The LGBT caucus sponsored the platform plank, working with county parties in several areas of the state to adopt a resolution calling for marriage equality.

The resolution was forwarded by the county parties to congressional district conventions for consideration earlier this year.

The marriage equality resolution was forwarded to the state convention by the party’s 2nd, 5th, 6th and 7th congressional district conventions, according to a news release. The resolution and the marriage equality plank of the 2012 Platform were adopted at the state convention in Appleton on June 9.

“Since Wisconsin enacted the nation’s first anti-discrimination law covering gays and lesbians in 1984, Democrats have led the fight for equality in Wisconsin,” stated Tom Scharbach, co-chair of the LGBT Caucus. “Each year since 2006, delegates to the DPW state convention have called for repeal of the marriage discrimination amendment and for laws protecting LGBT families.

“This year, Democrats in Wisconsin took the next step, endorsing marriage equality for all couples. We hope that our work will hasten the day when marriage discrimination comes to an end in Wisconsin.”

“The resolution supporting marriage equality received strong support from county parties, delegates to congressional district conventions and at the state convention,” said Erik Paulson, secretary of the LGBT caucus. “Support for marriage equality comes from the Democratic Party mainstream in Wisconsin, as it does nationally. Barrack Obama, Tom Barrett, Tammy Baldwin, Russ Feingold and many other Democratic leaders support marriage equality. So do the vast majority of Democrats, in Wisconsin and in the nation.”

Cindy Chelcun, an LGBT caucus member who shepherded the resolution through Portage County and the 7th Congressional District Convention, said, “Democrats are committed to ending marriage discrimination in Wisconsin. We stand with the majority of people in Wisconsin, who believe that everyone in Wisconsin should be treated equally. It will take years to bring marriage equality to Wisconsin, but Wisconsin will, in the end, do what is right.”

This year, a campaign has been driven by the Freedom to Marry and Democratic Party activists to encourage the adoption of a marriage equality plank in the national platform. A number of high-profile Democrats have endorsed such a plank, which seems more likely given the president's recent endorsement of marriage equality.

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