, , ,

Groups Join Forces To Push For Legalizing Gay Marriage In Wisconsin

Case Is Being Appealed In Federal Court


Three advocacy groups that are pushing for the legalization of gay marriage in Wisconsin have formed a new coalition.

The goal of this new grouping is to keep building momentum since a federal judge struck down Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban earlier this summer.

The new organization, Wisconsin Marriage Equality Coalition, is a collaboration between the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Fair Wisconsin and gay marriage advocacy group Freedom to Marry.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Kristen Hansen, ACLU director of development, said the recent federal district court ruling overturning Wisconsin’s eight-year-old constitutional ban on same-sex marriage has created a lot of momentum for gay marriage supporters. She said now, it’s about using the strengths of the different organizations to keep it going.

“The ACLU is the litigation force. So, we have the case going. Fair Wisconsin is an organizing force. Freedom to Marry has focused just on this issue for so long and they are great at the website part of it, they are great at getting the public sentiment to change,” she said. “So, those three very strong organizations together can have a louder voice than us separately.”

A series of coalition press conferences around the state featured plaintiffs in the case leading to the June decision.

In Eau Claire, it was Virginia Wolf and Carol Schumacher. Wolf said a big part of the coalition’s goal is to educate people who don’t understand what the fight for gay marriage is all about.

“It’s about civil marriage and if they don’t want to marry same-sex couples in their church, they don’t have to but we deserve and need those protections and rights,” she said.

The case that overturned Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban in June has been appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. ACLU officials said it’s likely to go to the U.S. Supreme Court with the earliest likely decision coming next June.