Sen. Baldwin: Wisconsin deserves better than Walker administration's defense of discrimination

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U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin. - PHOTO: Courtesy

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., on June 13, said Wisconsin deserves better than a governor and an attorney general defending discrimination.

On June 13, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb issued a temporary stay of her ruling that overturned the state's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Wisconsin.

Republican Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen sought a stay in the district court and at the appeals court level as he prepared a full appeal of Crabb's ruling against the constitutional amendment.

Crabb, on June 13, said, "After seeing the expressions of joy on the faces of so many newly wedded couples featured in media reports, I find it difficult to impose a stay on the event that is responsible for eliciting that emotion, even if the stay is only temporary,” Crabb said in a statement announcing the stay. “Same-sex couples have waited many years to receive equal treatment under the law, so it is understandable that they do not want to wait any longer. However, a federal district court is required to follow the guidance provided by the Supreme Court. Because I see no way to distinguish this case from Herbert, I conclude that I must stay any injunctive relief pending appeal."

Baldwin, who is gay, said in a statement released on June 13, "I believe that we owe it to the next generation to give them a Wisconsin that is more equal, not less equal. The Wisconsin I know deserves better than a governor defending discrimination and an attorney general prosecuting progress. Wisconsin should be a place where every family’s love and commitment can be recognized and respected under the law. It is time for Governor Walker and Attorney General Van Hollen to stop standing in the way of freedom, fairness and equality for all Wisconsinites. Love is love, family is family, and discriminating against anyone’s love, against anyone’s family, is just plain wrong.”

Baldwin observed that a year ago this month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decisions in two marriage equality cases. One decision overturned the part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that barred the U.S. government from recognizing gay marriages. The other cleared the way for the voiding of California's Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment similar to the one approved by voters in Wisconsin in 2006.

Baldwin said, "The nation’s highest court made a strong statement for equality and freedom, overturning discrimination against gay and lesbian American citizens simply because of who they love. Wisconsin is the 12th state to see a marriage ban struck down in federal court since the U.S. Supreme Court decision last June. Now Wisconsin can proudly say that discrimination doesn’t just violate our values — it violates our Constitution and marriage equality will be the law of the land in Wisconsin."