Elections key to advancing LGBT equality

Fair Wisconsin, represented by Lambda Legal, recently announced our intervention in the latest challenge to domestic partnerships. We are committed to defending these critical protections for as long as it takes and we are confident the courts will ultimately decide in our favor. Domestic partnerships are not marriage.

But let me be clear: The filing of Wisconsin Family Action’s lawsuit just weeks before the mid-term elections is not a coincidence. It’s a calculated attempt to distract us from our work to protect our pro-fairness majorities and to elect a pro-fairness governor. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years, it’s that a mobilized LGBT and allied community directly impacts our ability to achieve equality.

The day conservative legislators and Wisconsin Family Action got their discriminatory amendment was the same day we overwhelmingly re-elected the nation’s first governor to oppose an anti-gay constitutional amendment and flipped the state Senate to pro-fairness leadership under Sen. Russ Decker. Key seats also were won in the Assembly, leading to a pro-fairness takeover in 2008 under Speaker Mike Sheridan.

Pro-fairness voters created a new landscape, putting our vision for a fair and decent Wisconsin on a path toward becoming a reality.

The passage of domestic partnerships was the first positive development for the LGBT community in nearly 30 years. Coming just three years after the passage of our discriminatory amendment, this landmark victory for fairness was a direct result of that new landscape.

As we approach the mid-term elections on Nov. 2, LGBT and allied voters are faced with a critical decision: Vote for pro-fairness candidates up and down the ballot, or see our hard-won victories stripped away so that we’re once again forced to play defense against harmful, anti-equality measures.

That’s why Fair Wisconsin PAC is actively engaged across the state to elect pro-fairness candidates at all levels of government.

Toward that end, we were very excited to recently join forces with the Human Rights League PAC. Since 1997, HRL-PAC has been dedicated to electing pro-fairness candidates throughout Wisconsin. By unifying, we have created one statewide LGBT political action committee that combines the skills, relationships and diverse experiences of both organizations, allowing us to lmaximize our ability to positively impact state elections.

Voting has never been more critical for the LGBT community.  Our ability to advance equality in the years ahead and build support for the repeal of the amendment banning same-sex marriage depends on the outcome of these elections.

Fair Wisconsin PAC is proud to endorse Mayor Tom Barrett, who is committed to working with Fair Wisconsin and the LGBT community to continue taking important steps toward full LGBT equality. Throughout his years as Milwaukee mayor, Barrett has demonstrated a consistent desire to protect the civil rights of his LGBT constituents, including protecting and maintaining the city’s domestic partner registry, continuing to provide domestic partner benefits for city employees and vocally opposing our marriage and civil unions ban.  

Scott Walker, however, is committed to repealing domestic partnerships and stripping even the most basic protections, including hospital visitation rights for caring, committed couples.

The number of pro-fairness state legislative candidates – both incumbents and challengers – we have endorsed this year is astounding. We have an impressive slate of candidates who are committed to equality, eradicating discrimination and preventing the government from standing in the way of loving couples who want to take care of each other.

Make your voice heard on Nov.2. For a full list of Fair Wisconsin PAC endorsed candidates, please visit www.fairwisconsin.com.

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