Today, alongside a same-sex couple sharing their personal story, Representatives Mark Spreitzer (D-Beloit), JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milwaukee), Chris Taylor (D-Madison) and Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) introduced the Marriage and Family Equality Act. This legislation would update Wisconsin statutes to account for marriage equality following the Supreme Court of the United States June 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. Afterwards, the legislators released the following statements:
“Wisconsin law must be read in a gender-neutral way that recognizes equal rights for all married couples. However, because Wisconsin’s statutes are outdated, many same-sex couples still face legal challenges, particularly when seeking parental rights. We think it fitting that at this time of year, we can bring comfort and joy to every legally married same-sex couple, and to every child of legally married same-sex parents in Wisconsin.” – Rep. Mark Spreitzer
“As elected officials, the laws that we write don’t just govern many aspects of our daily lives, they are also a statement of our aspirations for the ideal state we’d like to live in. Changing this language makes it clear that our laws respect, honor and include all of Wisconsin’s citizens, including LGBT Wisconsinites.” – Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa
“It is time for Wisconsin to update the language used in its statutes to be inclusive of the loving same-sex couples who have finally been afforded equality in marriage. By changing statutory language from referring to married couples as ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ to simply ‘spouses’, Wisconsin will be taking a much needed step forward in accepting marriage equality. This will send a strong signal to LGBT people in Wisconsin that they are accepted here, and that we as a state will no longer tolerate exclusive language in our laws.” – Sen. Tim Carpenter
“Plain and simple, this bill helps make families whole. These updates to our marriage and family law statutes are desperately needed by families throughout Wisconsin.”– Rep. Chris Taylor
Joining the legislators were Jamie Gaffke and Ruth Vater of Beloit, who shared personal stories of the legal challenges they faced when attempting to secure equal parental rights.