The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Speaker rips marriage amendment

Cynthia Welch, program assistant for Student Support Services, went into the Alumni Room of Davies Center Wednesday evening with a good understanding of the upcoming same-sex marriage amendment, she said.

After local attorney and Fair Wisconsin volunteer Dan Freund finished his discussion on the ramifications, Welch said she walked out with concrete evidence that should help her persuade family members on the other side.

“The other side doesn’t want us to know what’s in the second sentence of this amendment,” Freund said. “It’s not just same-sex marriage; it’s much more than that.”

Freund’s presentation ushered in the fall semester’s first gathering of Women on Wednesdays – a series that features discussions on issues important to women. Women in Higher Education sponsored the event with support from several other campus groups.

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Freund opened his presentation, titled “The Constitutional Amendment to Ban Civil Unions and Same-Sex Marriage: A Risky Experiment?”, with an anecdote.

When his wife broke her leg several years ago, Freund said the hospital allowed him access to comfort her, his insurance helped cover the damages and his employer granted him time off from work. If a homosexual couple is put in the same situation, Freund said the result isn’t quite the same.

The Republican-sponsored amendment came in response to the Massachusetts decision in 2003 to recognize same-sex marriages.

Supporters of the amendment have argued the wording in the state constitution is too vague and could be interpreted to allow gay marriage.

Freund concentrated his discussion on the second sentence of the proposed amendment on the Nov. 7 gubernatorial ballot that states, “A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.”

If this language passes, Freund said it will hurt Wisconsin families and businesses, and will send Wisconsin in the wrong direction.
Additionally, the amendment goes too far and is unnecessary since Wisconsin currently fails to recognize same-sex marriage, Freund said.

“Why spend time on it now?” Freund said adding that other social issues such as methamphetamines could be of more significance. “Legislators only care because this amendment drives voters to polls.”

The amendment will force homosexuals to seek work elsewhere and hurt local businesses Freund said.

“Never once in 24 years have I felt my marriage was being threatened by a gay couple,” Freund said.

The next WOW event will feature a candidate forum for Chippewa Valley voters at 7 p.m.
on Oct. 23 at South Middle School, 2115 Mitscher Ave. Paula Stuettgen, senior coordinator for Student Development and Programs and a representative for Women in Higher Education, said they are social events as well as educational ones.

“(WOW) means we kick back and relax a little bit while we listen and learn.”

View the Full Text of Marriage Amendment Bill

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Speaker rips marriage amendment