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Candidate Burke supports same-sex marriage

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  The Democratic candidate for Wisconsin governor says same-sex couples should have the right to be married. Mary Burke told reporters in a conference call yesterday that she would support a new federal lawsuit, if it would help achieve the goal of allowing gay marriage.

Earlier yesterday Republican Governor Scott Walker defended the status quo when he spoke to reporters in Madison. Walker said he took an oath to uphold the constitution -- and he'll leave it to Attorney General J-B Van Hollen to defend the state's constitutional gay marriage ban in court.

Four same-sex couples and the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Monday in federal court in Madison. They're trying to strike down the 2006 state constitutional amendment against gay marriage and civil unions. The suit also seeks to eliminate a state law which has criminal penalties for same-sex Wisconsin couples who marry elsewhere.

Walker said he has not heard of any real movement across Wisconsin to change the constitution to allow gay marriage, after 59-percent of voters approved the original amendment just over seven years ago. Last October, a Marquette Law School poll showed that 53-percent of Wisconsin voters now support the allowing of same-sex marriages.