Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


WI Referendum: Definition of Marriage

Bookmark and Share

In 2003, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle vetoed a bill that sought to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The Republican-led legislature then initiated a constitutional amendment process (which passed 19-14 in the state Senate on a strict party-line vote and 62-31 in the state Assembly earlier this year).

Wisconsin voters will now join the long list of states that in recent years have sought to define marriage via constitutional amendment in response to the perceived and actual push of the legalization of same-sex marriage (e.g. Massachusetts in 2003). Twenty states have adopted a constitutional amendment preserving traditional marriage through the ballot box, and six additional states (plus Wisconsin) will be voting on the issue in the November election. Wisconsin seeks to define marriage on the ballot as follows:

"Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."

The amendment is expected to pass, although support in recent polls hovers around 50% - a much lower level of support than the average level of support voters have given similar amendments in 20 states during the past eight years (68% - ranging from a high of 86% in Mississippi and Missouri to a low of 58% in Oregon).

The conventional wisdom after the presidential election of 2004 was that the religious right turned out in greater number to back the state-sponsored amendments seeking to protect the traditional definition of marriage on the ballot in 12 states that November. This support from religious conservatives was seen as a crucial factor in Bush's reelection victory.

But the truth is only 4 of those 12 states were in play for both Kerry and Bush to begin with: Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, and Oregon. Of these four states, voters demonstrating the greatest support for such amendments (Missouri, 86%; Ohio, 62%) went for Bush, while Michigan (59%) and Oregon (58%) went for Kerry.

All this may have the Democrats and Doyle camp wondering: will voter turnout and the marriage referendum have an impact in Wisconsin's gubernatorial race?

Previous post: MN Senate: New HHH Poll Also Finds Double-Digit Lead for Klobuchar
Next post: Will Minnesotans Split Their Ticket in November?

4 Comments


  • Voters in Wisconsin do hear about the referndum, but rarely. The GOP campaign scandal of Mark Green and his suing the state has topped the anger list of voters.
    When the topic is mentioned on the news it is always preceeded with the fact that the referendum is not binding and only advisory. Voters also know there is already a law which only allows man/woman marriages.
    Voters know it is a wedge issue, but with Dems having a 10pt lead in most races, the referendum is moot.

  • No matter its eventual impact on specific races, the fact that it was such a hot button issue in 2004 no doubt brought out the GOP in many states beyond the four in play. Also, those two states that went republican were the difference in that election.

  • Perhaps if politicians, in their efforts to protect tradition marriage, took a less punitive stance against same sex unions and say created a legal and binding union for them the "protect tradiontional marriage" actions might be more accepted.

    The genie is out of the bottle; most of us accept that there are people who are homosexual so it seems time to accept their unions and provide a way to protect them in those unions.

  • Hello, with the abundance of crappy blogs around it's great to see that there are still some filled with fantastic information! Is there any way I can be alerted when you create a new post? thank you!

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

    Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

    Political Crumbs

    Evolving?

    When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


    73 Months and Counting

    January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting