Bill McConkey wants to play fair in the fight for marriage equality in Wisconsin. He’s also a straight, married, Christian – with a lesbian daughter.
McConkey is trying to prove that wording of the constitutional amendment, as it was submitted to Wisconsin voters, violated Article 12 Section I of the Wisconsin Constitution.
Article 12 Section I states that the Legislature must submit referendums to the voters separately. The amendment passed last fall posed two questions. The amendment says that marriage only between one man and one woman would be recognized in the state. It also states that legal status similar or identical to marriage would not be recognized.
There are two issues. Whether to ban gay marriage and whether to ban civil unions.
McConkey believes voters may not want “marriage” for gays, but would approve of “civil unions” if given the option.
A Dane County judge ruled the lawsuit can go forward on grounds that McConkey was harmed as a voter by the wording of the voter question.
The Star Tribune recently published an interview McConkey did with the Associate Press.
In the Q&A, McConkey explains:
“As a student of history and as an educated person, I know the history and the implications of that mind-set. It began with that. I also have a gay daughter.”
He goes on to say, “I think ultimately I would say under the U.S. Constitution, the way it’s written, we cannot constitutionally deny the right of gay people to be married. Neither can the government order a church and say you have to marry gay people. That’s an important difference to me. ”