WFA Responds: WI Supreme Court Recognizes Uniqueness of Marriage

State High Court Says Same-Sex Domestic Partnerships Not Like Marriage

Today, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the Badger State’s domestic partnership registry as “constitutional” in a landmark decision that defied the will of Wisconsin’s voters.

Wisconsin Family Action president, Julaine Appling, is not discouraged, though, as the ruling defined what we already know to be true – marriage is a unique institution and remains so in the state of Wisconsin.

Read the full press release from WFA below:

MADISON— Today the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the same-sex-only, statewide domestic partnership enacted by Governor Doyle through the state budget in 2009, does not violate the Marriage Protection Amendment approved by the voters in 2006. This is in spite of the fact that the Amendment prohibits any “legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals.”

“While we are disappointed that the Wisconsin Supreme Court did not agree with us, what’s important is that marriage remains between one man and one woman in Wisconsin and that even in this ruling, the court recognized that marriage is unique and nothing like relationships formed by same-sex couples,” said Julaine Appling, one of the plaintiffs in the case and president of Wisconsin Family Action.

Many years ago (1959) the legislature wrote the following statement into Wisconsin law. Marriage is the institution that is the foundation of the family and of society. Its stability is basic to morality and civilization, and of vital interest to society and the state. . . . . Under the laws of this state, marriage is a legal relationship between 2 equal persons, a husband and wife, who owe to each other mutual responsibility and support. (Wis Stats 765.001(2))

Plaintiffs led the effort to ratify and defend Wisconsin’s Marriage Amendment to protect that institution. Our concern was that Ch. 770 creates a relationship that is substantially like marriage and dilutes its public meaning and significance.

Appling noted, “Although the court today ruled against us, it also recognized that the Marriage Amendment affirms what the legislature recognized long ago. Marriage is a unique relationship between one man and one woman, and it is the only relationship so indispensable to children and society that when husband and wife agree to marry, they may not unilaterally end that relationship. The state itself will step in and enforce duties of mutual obligation and support.”

Wisconsin Family Action will continue defending Wisconsin law and the uniqueness of marriage between one man and one woman.

Early Voting in Wisconsin Begins TODAY

Early election voting has begun at city clerks’ offices

across the state of Wisconsin.

vote-your-values (1)Voters who are unable to get to the polls for the primary election on Tuesday, August 12, are now able to cast their ballots.

Click HERE for general voter information and to see if you have a primary on your ballot.

  • HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO TO VOTE FOR?
  • WHO ARE THE CANDIDATES?
  • HOW HAVE INCUMBENTS VOTED IN THE PAST?

 

RIGHT AT YOUR FINGERTIPS!

****BE INFORMED! Click HERE for our NEW Wisconsin Voter Guide! ****

Vote wisely by choosing candidates who:

  • Best align with your values
  • Have a reasonable chance of winning, as evidenced by endorsements, donations, yard signs, phone calls, etc.

NEW! Wisconsin Primary Voter Guide Released

Who are our leaders – REALLY?  
What’s behind the polished speeches
and promises to make our lives better?

>>>>>Click HERE to watch a video that explains how YOU can affect change in Wisconsin, and in Washington, with your VOTE.

Less than 20% of voters actually vote in the PRIMARY elections in their state, yet did you know…

  • primaries determine the election?
  • in low-voter-turnout elections, your vote matters more than ever?
Wisconsin’s Primary Election is Tuesday, August 12.

That’s less than 3 weeks away!  How do you know who to vote for?  Who are the candidates? How have incumbents voted in the past?

YOUR customized voter guide is NOW AVAILABLE – CLICK HERE!  

The Wisconsin Voter Guide is a combination of:

  • Voting records/ratings
  • Financial contributions
  • Endorsements
  • Candidate website
  • Comprehensive candidate survey

Each candidate is evaluated by a panel of volunteers, people like you, who are dedicated to helping others vote wisely.  
Click HERE for general voter information and to see if you have a primary on your ballot.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

  • Access the Voter Guide TODAY.  Take a close look.  If you want, print off your local races and be prepared for the Wisconsin Primary Election on August 12!
  • SHARE SHARE SHARE this Voter Guide with everyone you know who is eligible to vote in Wisconsin!  Print off extra copies of the Voter Guide candidate results for your local race and distribute them to neighbors and others in your voting district.
  • Copy and paste this link:  http://goo.gl/ORWhCW  (this is just a shortened URL that goes directly to our WI Voter Guide) in an email, on Twitter, or on your Facebook, and let others know about this valuable voting tool!

NEW STUDY: AMERICA – Improving or Getting Off Track?

Heritage logoThe Heritage Foundation has just released its 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity.

The 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity tells how social and economic factors relate to the success of individuals, families, opportunity, and freedom. Through charts that track changes, and commentary that explains the trends, the Index shows the current state of some key features of American society and tells whether specific indicators are improving or getting off track.

>>>>>Click HERE to access The 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity on line.

cultural indicatorsWisconsin Family Action also recently released the new publication, Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition, which is the only document of its kind, giving statistical overview of Wisconsin, her values, and the impact on traditional families.  We trust that public officials, educators at all levels, business leaders, pastors, ministry leaders, and lay citizens will find this Wisconsin Cultural Indicators 2014 Edition instructive and helpful as they make decisions affecting Wisconsin’s future.

>>>>>Access YOUR copy of Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition, HERE

Gauging the Well-Being of Wisconsin

From the desk of Wisconsin Family Council president, Julaine Appling:

“Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition: Gauging the Well-being of Wisconsin”

In 1997, Wisconsin Family Council released the first edition of Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators.   It was a well-received publication in part because it was the only document of its kind that brought together important statistics giving a panoramic snapshot of Wisconsin.  We released the second edition in 2008.

Modeled after William Bennett’s The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators at the national level, our Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators provides an overview of important indicators that impact Wisconsin’s best natural resource:  traditional families.  When Wisconsin’s families are healthy, Wisconsin is healthy.  When our state’s families are weak, struggling, and dependent on the government, that is sure to be reflected in the overall health of the state. As the family, so the state.

The greatly expanded 2014 edition of Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators follows in the footsteps of the 1997 and 2008 editions and continues to track critical indicators, typically, over a substantial amount of time, almost 50 years in some instances.  When we present these indicators graphically, we are able to see trends—trends that reveal how healthy or unhealthy our state is in specific areas and in a general sense.  As we look at these trends, we are also able to assess whether or not interventions have been helpful. This in turn can provide direction for policy and decision makers on whether or not to maintain such interventions or to introduce others.

ImageIn this 2014 edition, we basically doubled the size of the publication because we added what I consider to be an extremely important section.  Entitled, “Family Structure,” this opening 29-page section shows in graphs, charts and tables that family structure really does matter to Wisconsin’s well-being.  On every measure we considered, husband-wife families do better than single-parent families in Wisconsin.

For instance, single-mother households are much more likely to live in poverty.  Single-parent households are much more likely to take government assistance, including Food Stamps and other income assistance.  One table we provide shows that a single-mother with two children would lose $2,600 every month in government-subsidies if she were to marry.  In annual numbers, this single mom has over $36,000 of taxpayer money coming into the household from credits and programs such as Earned Income Credit for both the state and federal government, Child Tax Credit, WIC, and other subsidies.

Other statistics show that Wisconsin’s marriage rate has dropped nearly 38% in just the last 12 years and that Wisconsin’s total fertility rate has been below replacement levels since 1975.  Replacement level is 2.1 children per woman.  We have vacillated between 1.7 and 1.9 for 39 years.   The data also shows that while teen births have gone down, births to unmarried women have steadily risen since 1960, when only 3% of babies were born out of wedlock to 2010 when 37% of Wisconsin babies were born to unwed mothers.  That figure correlates closely with 50% of the babies born in 2010 having their births paid for by Medicaid.

On some indicators we separated out Milwaukee from the rest of the state.  Milwaukee numbers show an even more startling difference between married and unmarried households.  I believe it is very fair and very accurate to say that written all over this publication is the impact of fatherlessness on a state and a community.

Quite honestly, the data tells the story.  We do provide some analysis and additional information from current research.   Our hope is that public officials, educators at all levels, business leaders, pastors, ministry leaders, and lay citizens will find this Wisconsin Cultural Indicators 2014 Edition instructive and helpful as they make decisions affecting Wisconsin’s future.  We want this publication to make a real difference in our state as we work to improve and increase Wisconsin’s best natural resource—her married mom-and-dad families.

This unique and significant report is available online HERE.

Defending Marriage: A High Honor

From the desk of Wisconsin Family Council president Julaine Appling:

One of the highest honors I have is to strengthen, preserve and promote marriage in this great state.  From time to time, our work includes defending this God-ordained, God-designed institution, the people who share our belief in marriage, and rule of law in our state.   Last week, I and four board members of Wisconsin Family Action, our sister organization once again had the privilege of doing just that.

marriageIn the fall of 2006, nearly 60% of the voters approved Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment, which preserves God’s plan for marriage in our state law.

Basically from the moment that the amendment passed, it has been under legal attack.

In July 2007, a UW-Oshkosh professor filed a lawsuit alleging that the amendment dealt with two subjects not just one, and therefore the vote was unconstitutional.  In 2009, the State Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision that the amendment dealt with only one subject—marriage.  We were privileged to have filed a couple friend-of-the-court briefs in this case, in defense of the institution of marriage, the will of the people, the rule of law and the state constitution.

The fight didn’t end there. In 2009, Governor Jim Doyle enacted through the state budget a statewide, same-sex-only domestic partnership that at the very least is substantially similar to marriage.  Our attorneys immediately filed a lawsuit on our behalf alleging that the partnership is unconstitutional. We filed the lawsuit because it is absolutely imperative that the institution of marriage, the will of the people, the rule of law and the state constitution be defended.

Last year, the case reached the State Supreme Court and oral arguments were held this past October.  Right now we are waiting for the court to issue its ruling in this case.

But that’s not all.  On February 3 of this year, Wisconsin’s number was up.  The ACLU, on behalf of 16 open homosexuals, filed a lawsuit in federal court here in The Badger State, alleging that the amendment passed by a majority of state legislators in two consecutive sessions and then soundly approved by “we the people,” is unconstitutional.  The lawsuit alleges that the amendment violates the equal protection clause of the US Constitution, as well as the due process clause.

We were pleased that current Attorney General JB VanHollen immediately said he would vigorously defend the amendment on behalf of the state.  We also knew given that we have been uniquely and substantially involved with this amendment from the beginning that we could add to the supporting arguments.  So, our attorneys petitioned Federal Judge Barbara Crabb to allow us to file a friend-of-the-court brief in this critical case.

Earlier this month, the court granted us permission, in spite of the fact that the ACLU and its clients vigorously opposed our petition.  I am pleased to tell you that last Wednesday, May 14, we formally filed our brief in this case again defending marriage, the will of the people, and the rule of law and the state constitution.

adfIn every one of these cases, our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom have stepped up and taken us on as clients.  Their stable of extremely competent attorneys across the country and especially their local allied attorneys right here in Wisconsin have done an extraordinary job of working with us in defending marriage, the will of the people, the rule of law and the Wisconsin Constitution.  We are deeply grateful for their ongoing help.

The lesson in this history of Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment is that defending marriage is not a one-and-done deal. It requires eternal vigilance on the part of all of us.  It demands a great deal of time, money, skilled attorneys, and commitment—and certainly calls for much prayer.  It requires strategic partnerships, not the least of which is partnerships with the Christian citizens in this state who share our values.  We covet your prayers and involvement as God leads you, as we daily have the high honor of strengthening, preserving, promoting and, yes, defending marriage and family in our great state.

BREAKING: WFC Launches NEW Publication “WISCONSIN CULTURAL INDICATORS” at EVENT 5/27, Appleton

LAUNCHING: WISCONSIN CULTURAL INDICATORS, 2014 EDITION

(WISCONSIN FAMILY COUNCIL’S BRAND NEW PUBLICATION)

Image

TUESDAY, MAY 27

MACHINE SHED, APPLETON, WI

12 – 1 p.m. (FREE)

GUEST SPEAKERS: Sen. Glenn Grothman/Rep. Andre Jacque & More!

On Tuesday, May 27, Wisconsin Family Council will publicly release its newest publication. Wisconsin Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition, is a unique, Wisconsin-specific document that looks at cultural and policy trends that impact the well-being of the state. This publication clearly shows how important intact mom-and-dad families are to Wisconsin’s well-being, both now and in the future.

You are invited to join us for this event at The Machine Shed in Appleton from noon to 1 p.m.! A complimentary lunch will be provided. Registration is not necessary; we’ll fill the room on a first-come, first-served basis. Fox Valley Conservative Forum has graciously agreed to allow us to do this public launch in cooperation with them and their weekly meeting at The Machine Shed. Attendees will receive a copy of Wisconsin’s Cultural Indicators, 2014 Edition (one per family).

In addition to WFC staff, several special speakers will join us for this special event. State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), Rep. Andre Jacque (R-DePere) and other community leaders will deliver brief remarks about the importance of the information in this publication to our state.
We look forward to seeing you at The Machine Shed in Appleton on Tuesday, May 27, at noon!

WFA Lends Accolades to Republican Convention Goers Who Supported Traditional Marriage

Wisconsin Family Action extends a “thank you” to those who attended the 2014 Wisconsin Republican Convention and voted for a resolution that supported life, traditional marriage and family values.

Green Bay Alert: Alderman wants city to revisit domestic partnership benefits

ImageEarlier this month, Green Bay alderman Amy Kocha asked the city to reconsider providing domestic partnership benefits to homosexual couples.  In 2011, the Green Bay Common Council voted down this very same provision.

>>>>>read more here

Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling addresses this issue, “The Green Bay City Council would be well-advised to table this idea.  The registry they are trying to use is being challenged in the State Supreme Court and taxpayers shouldn’t have to absorb more costs. Essentially nothing’s changed since the last time the council considered this ill-advised idea.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

If you live in the City of Green Bay, call your alderman and mayor.  Tell them you do not agree with the provision of domestic partnership benefits and that you do not want the City Council to vote on this issue again.

Green Bay Common Council Members: Contact information HERE.

Green Bay Mayor James J. Schmitt: Contact information HERE.

Creature v Creator; Facebook Joins Gender Identity “Bandwagon”

From the desk of Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling:

Image“Male and female created He them.” That’s what God’s Holy and definitive Word says about gender in the book of beginnings, Genesis.

It’s pretty clear that God created and intended for there to be only two sexes. He didn’t allow for more, make exceptions for more, discuss more, create more or anything of that nature.  God’s divine standard for gender is two—male and female—each distinctly different from the other.  God is not, I repeat, He is not confused about gender.

However, God’s clarity on the issue and His equally clear written revelation on this issue don’t stop mere mortals from thinking they know more than God.

Recognizing, protecting and promoting so-called “genders” other than male and female has become very popular in the United States.  It’s part of the fallout from not believing God’s Word, not having any intention of obeying it, and even mocking it as myth.  Once we depart from the Truth of God’s Word, we eventually end up hopeless confused, terribly wrong, and headed for serious trouble. 

But that doesn’t stop modern society from raising their proverbial angry fists at God and insisting on going their own deluded,dangerous way.

With the push to normalize homosexuality comes a host of other issues, gender identity among them, as people attempt to excuse or justify their quirks and lust.  Admittedly, because young people are today are early-on exposed to these very wrong ideas and lifestyles, some are genuinely confused—not because they inherently are gender-confused, but because they have been convinced by people they trust that gender is complex, confusing, and much more multi-faceted than male and female. 

In Wisconsin we’ve had some attempts in the last year to add “gender identity” to nondiscrimination laws in local communities.  Fond du Lac considered such a proposal late this last year.  The public became involved and eventually the City Council voted it down. But the openly homosexual City Council member who originally introduced the proposal says he will bring it back again because it’s only fair that people who don’t identify with their biological gender should have special protections.

ImageLast week Facebook joined the gender identity bandwagon.  On Facebook’s Diversity Page, the following statement was posted by Facebook personnel:

When you come to Facebook to connect with the people, causes, and organizations you care about, we want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self. An important part of this is the expression of gender, especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just “male” or female.” So today, we’re proud to offer a new custom gender option to help you better express your own identity on Facebook. 

We collaborated with our Network of Support, a group of leading LGBT advocacy organizations, to offer an extensive list of gender identities that many people use to describe themselves….

The new custom gender option is available to everyone who uses Facebook in U.S. English.

And then people are referred to another site for more information.  I followed the instructions given and it’s true.  There are now over 50 different gender identities someone can choose from to define their sex.  This is beyond extraordinary.  It’s wrong. It leads to further confusion for teens. It creates potential legal issues that we shouldn’t even have to think about and who knows what else. 

If Facebook is pushing this gender-identity issue, you can be sure other social media are as well, along with schools.  It’s imperative that parents talk to their children from the time they are little about being distinctly boys or distinctly girls—the gender that God made them as reflected in their physiology and biology.  We need to build into them a respect for their own sex and that of the opposite sex, recognizing, respecting and appreciating the differences. 

Gender should not be confusing for children—or for anyone else for that matter. If we teach children to know and love God’s Word and to believe Him and trust Him, then they will immediately distinguish truth from falsehood. They’ll know that male and female is two genders, not over 50

After God created male and female, He pronounced His plan “good.” The created being is beyond foolish to think that he with his finitemind can improve on what the Creator has done.