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OPINION - Ballot box or court ruling

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU) There's a new web site called 'WisconsinUnitesForMarriage.com". It's goal is to build support for gay marriage.

While I personally an opposed to same-sex marriage, I support the web site. And the reason is important. Groups like the ACLU and Fair Wisconsin certainly realize they're sitting on a win in court. Chicago's 7th Circuit, with last year's guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court, will likely uphold Judge Barbara Crabb's ruling striking down Wisconsin's same sex marriage ban. In fact, I don't think my side has a single win at the appeals court level on the issue. And the next battle for gay marriage will be public acceptance. Gays that wed will quickly find that getting the legal paperwork to tie the knot is one thing, convincing some parts of the public to accept their marriage is something else.

I support the web site, in concept, popular support will bring more legitimacy to the issue than court rulings. If gay marriage supporters truly believe public opinion has changed on the issue, the ballot box would have been the more difficult - but correct - approach to achieving their goals. Going through the process to overturn or change Wisconsin's constitutional amendment would settle the issue once and for all. Court rulings are also subject to arguments than unelected judges are overturning the will of the voters.

The route of the ballot box is longer and less certain, but there is an opportunity-loss. Gay marriage backers might actually win such a vote.

Chris Conley

8.7.14

IMAGE:Same sex marriage supporters Lance Namihara (L), Calvin Marquez (C) and Aleeciya Parker rally at the Hawaii State Capital as the State Legislature REUTERS via wsau.com