State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa and Sen. Tim Carpenter are co-sponsoring a bill to repeal Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban.
State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa and Sen. Tim Carpenter, both Milwaukee-area Democrats, will start circulating a bill this week that seeks to repeal Wisconsin's constitutional ban on gay marriage.
Their action comes a week after the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state's marriage ban. Zamarripa and Carpenter's bill is the first legislative attempt to repeal the ban, which was spearheaded by Republican lawmakers and approved by voters in a statewide referendum in 2006.
Fair Wisconsin, the statewide gay rights organization, is supportive of the effort by Zamarripa and Carpenter, neither of whom could be reached for comment Monday morning. "It's something our legislative allies have wanted to do for a very long time," says Katie Belanger, president and CEO of Fair Wisconsin. "It's very important to introduce this bill now to highlight where people are at, both at the Capitol and on how far people have come on marriage equality since 2006."
A bill to pass or repeal a constitutional amendment must be approved in two successive sessions of the state Legislature before it can be put to a statewide vote.
The GOP is in control of both houses of the Legislature so it is unlikely the bill would advance this session.
A copy of the bill was not immediately available. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) could not be reached for comment.
[Editor's note: This story was updated at 2:28 p.m. to note that State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa's office now says the bill will begin circulating this week.]