When Wisconsin passed its domestic partner registry for same-sex couples back in 2009, Wisconsin Family Action was quick to cry lawsuit, alleging that said registry violated the state's 2006 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
The state Supreme Court dismissed that initial lawsuit, paving the way for WFA's newest challenge, which has been brought before the Dane County Circuit Court. This means that both sides will now have the opportunity to go to trial and argue their cases.
Julaine Appling, suspiciously vehement anti-gay crusader and president of WFA, claims that the current domestic partner registry "is intended to mirror marriage." Therefore, she argues that it violates the constitutional amendment's ban on gay marriage or anything "substantially similar to marriage."
Of course she's off her rocker. The registry provides LGBT couples with some 40 rights things like the right to hospital visitations and end-of-life decisions whereas heterosexual marriage confers 200 rights.
40 is not even a little bit similar to 200, let alone "substantially" so.
But it gets better. Appling was one of the most vocal proponents of that misguided '06 amendment, swearing up and down at the time (in an effort to quell people's concerns that its language included two questions instead of the legally allowed one) that the ban on gay marriage would not extend to a ban on domestic partnership benefits. She claimed, in fact, that such an argument was only a "smoke screen" intended to distract from the real issue at hand.
Funny, then, that Appling has since become one of the most rabid opponents of the registry.
I know, I know; it's not exactly news that an ultra-conservative "family values" organization and its consistently anti-gay president are continuing to challenge the registry even as it turns them into ever bigger hypocrites. Still, Ms. Appling, methinks thou doth protest too much.
Great pro-Madison treatise, or self-serving campaign speech?
I've been away on vacation out east for the last week, so I initially missed Mayor Dave's cover piece in the last issue of Isthmus that was all about how much Madison kicks butt.
In the article, Dave lays out a fairly compelling argument for why Madison is a pretty great place to live and why the increasingly shrill criticisms of it coming from far-right politicians are off-base and counterproductive.
But lots of people apparently read it quite differently, chalking it up to a particularly elaborate campaign stunt wherein Dave gets to talk about how awesomesauce he is while hiding his vanity behind a veil of civic pride.
So which is it? I'd argue for a bit of both. I'd also argue that who it was written by is less important than what it was written about. Take away the opening snowstorm anecdote and you've got a really solid essay about why Madison is a pretty stellar city one with flaws, yes, but also one with passion, creativity, eccentricity, and real character.
It's no secret that I've been critical of the mayor for all sorts of things, not least of which was how he's handled the Edgewater debate. But there should be credit where credit is due. Regardless of how you feel personally about the job he's done while in office, you have to admit that Dave sure does seem to love this city. And you, too. Why would any of us be here if we didn't like it, even if just a little?
If you need to, then, separate the author from the content of the piece and appreciate it for its ardent defense of our strange, beautiful little Midwestern home.
My final and definitive response to everything Dave Blaska will ever say/write
I was tempted to respond to his recent blog post via text, but I've decided that the following image would be more appropriate. Consider it my final word on the subject, since I am but a poor writer and can no longer afford to feed trolls.
I will directly address something brought up in Blaska's post, though, and that's Dave Zweifel's opinion piece about the Supreme Court's decision to treat corporations like people when it comes to political donations.
I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I think it was a crap ruling, and that corporations should absolutely not be treated like individual citizens (individual people at a specific business should be able to privately donate 'til their heart's content, of course). The ruling is, I think, a perverse interpretation of the First Amendment. But until such time as it's overturned or changed, we the people will have to use our own First Amendment rights by boycotting those businesses that throw their monetary weight behind political candidates with whom we disagree.
For instance, Target's CEO can argue until blue in the face that their donation was about supporting a "pro-business" candidate, but since said candidate is also wildly anti-gay, we have the right to show our displeasure by refusing to shop at Target.
It's that simple. And it's not oppressive or unconstitutional for regular citizens to exercise that option. Corporations, on the other hand? That's an entirely different story.