Our Wisconsin State Constitution is in danger of becoming a discriminatory document. I refuse to use the language of the sponsors of the proposed Constitutional Amendment that seeks to make a section of our community scapegoats by declaring them second class citizens for political gain. By adding this language to our Constitution, Wisconsinites are making a choice on whether or not we will ever again be able to stand up and be proud of our Progressive history or be responsible for propagating hatred.
Let's cut through the extremist religious dogma and look at the real reasons this amendment is being presented.
This is the Republican Party at its ugliest. Using an issue that justifies hatred to try to gain some sort of political advantage on an election day is reprehensible.
I am a straight, married woman of mixed racial heritage. My mother is white and from Neenah, WI. My father is African American and from Key West, FL. An unlikely chance meeting led to them getting married 6 months after they met at the courthouse in downtown Milwaukee. At the time they married in the summer of 1966, it was ILLEGAL for them to get married in 38 states in the United States. They were in love and married against the general will of society in the island of Milwaukee where our Progressive tradition did not prevent their affirming that love and committing to each other legally.
At first it was hard. Their families were less than thrilled, they had to choose their friends carefully and when they went to visit my father's family in Florida, they couldn't stop to use the bathroom in at least 5 states because of the very real risk of being hanged for loving each other. The reasons they gave for miscegenation laws are not very different than the reasons given today against same sex relationships. Mixing of races was considered against the laws of God and nature, there were worries about "the children", it was dangerous to society, sexually deviant and perverted, and could endanger the very institution of marriage itself. Sound familiar?
Do we Wisconsinites proud of our independence really want to allow them to sell out our neighbors, friends, co-workers and family by voting to recreate the atmosphere of hate that this country left behind 30 years ago? Really, only the target of the hate has changed.
Today, my parents are themselves amazed by how the world has changed. They were pioneers in desegregation and watched this country grow in character through the example they and others like them set. They are still happily married after 39 years and have raised four amazing children and now have 3 amazing grandchildren.
You know, listening to the anger and hatred spewed by the people who testified in favor of the amendment is horrifying to me as a human being. The fact that they use Jesus and God as their justifications is incomprehensible to me. My God is a loving God and he loves all of his children. I hear the same horrible vocal tones in their voices that I remember hearing from a few crazies as a child when my parents went on a fishing trip or went to dinner on the "wrong" side of the city. Hatred has no place in our state or our Constitution. We as Wisconsinites have never been gullible sheep who would be easily played by a shameful display like this. Let us, the citizens of this great state tell those who would use hatred to control for political gain take a stand here and now on this issue. Nationwide let us stand up for what’s good and right in this world and tell them that Wisconsin is still a place where equality means something, love means something, tolerance means something, and we will not allow politics to be a Petri dish for hate. Next November vote “No” on the Discrimination Amendment and vote for those brave Patriots who voted against it; while you’re at it, make sure you kick the self-serving hatred mongers out!