cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The people of Wisconsin made clear by amending the state's Constitution that they did not want same-sex marriage or civil unions in Wisconsin. The language of the Amendment says, "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."
But, the Democrats have decided that "we, the people" can't be trusted to do what is right, so they have now done a classic end-run around that Amendment, or so they think, by including "domestic partnerships" in the recently passed and signed budget. This originated with Governor Doyle who included it in his budget. It was then picked up by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison), who is an openly gay man who married his male partner in Canada, and remained in the budget.
This violates the will of the people. This was done through the budget, a fiscal bill, and that is an improper use of a fiscal bill to establish policy. This was done in the dark of night, or its equivalent, and was never brought into the open for hearings or debate. And, it appears to violate the state's Constitution. Additionally, it adds a cost of somewhere between $4,700,000 and $6,700,000 in annual cost to the state's operation since the benefit program of state employees will cover these domestic partnerships.
The debate was over, at least so far as the Constitutional Amendment. The people had spoken. But, that simply wasn't going to be good enough because the liberals of Dane County and the City of Milwaukee now recognize domestic relationships, and these liberals wanted that to be uniform across the state. This is classic. Whenever the liberals want something, they will get it one way or another, whether or not it is favored by the majority of people. They know better, and they know they'll almost always be able to make their will the law.
The Wisconsin Family Action organization has indicated that it will mount a court challenge to this new language. If they do, we'll then ultimately see if the state's Supreme Court will uphold the people's will as expressed by vote on the Amendment, or if that court will find some way in which to also negate the expressed will of the people. That could easily swing on the results of elections prior to that case making its way up the legal ladder.
The Curmudgeon Blog today is titled "What Then?"