News & Politics

A challenge to Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban. The state’s constitutional amendment could be overturned

William McConkey is challenging Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban. According to The Capital Times, McConkey had originally claimed that Wisconsin’s constitutional amendment violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, but County Circuit Judge Richard Niess ruled that McConkey did not have standing to sue on that issue.

The Madison news source explains what happened next: “Niess did, however, allow McConkey to proceed on the question of whether the referendum on the fall 2006 ballot asked two questions rather than one – whether to ban gay marriage and whether to prohibit anything substantially similar to marriage. Significantly, a provision in the Wisconsin Constitution, known as the single subject rule, prohibits referendum questions from asking multiple questions.”

The state’s constitutional amendment could be overturned if Niess agrees with McConkey. He must concede that the referendum did pose two questions to voters. The amendment was approved by 59 percent of voters.