A Fair Wisconsin Voted Yes Anyway

Two young boys wearing maroon t-shirts with the Westboro Baptist Church's website address on them.

Wisconsin's next generation? (Don't bother visiting the site, it's disgusting and they don't deserve the traffic.)

I should be so happy right now – ecstatic, jumping up and down even.  Dr. Steve Kagen took my congressional district for the Democrats, and Mark Green goes home in shame without the governorship and without his House seat. Jim Doyle is still the governor. Kathleen Falk is the Attorney General. Claire McCaskill took Missouri’s Senate seat from Jim Talent, for the Democrats. In fact, as of this writing it looks as though Democrats have taken the House and the Senate and most of the Governorships in the country.

And gay people can never, ever, ever get married in Wisconsin. Ever.

I don’t know what to think right now.

Wisconsin is the birthplace of progressivism, you know, but it’s also my spiritual home. My family is all there, my parents both lived there well past their college days. So what if I’ve only lived there for two years plus college breaks? From when I was the smallest child, I always asked my mom if we’d be going “home” for Christmas – home meaning Wisconsin.

How could my state – my home – do this to its people? How can it be that it doesn’t matter that all unmarried couples, gay and straight, will lose partner benefits, visitation rights, and other things, so long as we have slapped gay people across the face and sung, “Nyah nyah nyah-nyah nyah”? Don’t they get it? I never asked to be gay! Not any more than anybody ever asked for and got any innate part of their being. It’s not a “lifestyle choice” (or even a choice at all), and it’s not me “turning away from God and turning toward sin” or anything like that. It’s just how I am, and I ask to be respected. That’s all.

Josh Freker, the communications director for Fair Wisconsin, a group opposing the amendment (and who I coincidentally interviewed a week ago), said that he thinks his organization got a lot done even though they lost. Which is true; his group spent $3.5 million to defeat it, and support was much more widespread before the organization got involved two years ago. Meanwhile, the “Vote Yes” side spent $159,000 and won handily. They ran one poorly-produced television ad a week before the election.

No. No bitterness. I lost – we lost, and bigotry won. Now, goodnight… and I’m crying.

UPDATE: Arizona defeated their ban. So Wisconsin wasn’t and will never be the first. So much for the state motto.


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