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Wisconsin lawmakers introduce two bills centered on marriage equality

Supreme Court rules in 2015 that states cannot ban same-sex marriage
Posted at 11:49 AM, Dec 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-13 12:49:52-05

The Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus in Madison introduced two new bills Wednesday. Cosponsors hope the legislation will promote marriage equality in Wisconsin.

Cosponsors of the first bill, LRB 3137, say it would remove "invalid and unenforceable language" in the Wisconsin state constitution that recognizes marriage as being between opposite genders. The United States Supreme Court Decision Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 upheld the right of same sex couples to marry, and leaders with the Caucus want to align state law with federal law.

LRB 3137 has to pass in two consecutive sessions of the State Legislature before the issue goes to ballot for Wisconsinites to vote on.

Cosponsors of the second bill, LRB 1907, want to make "technical updates to Wisconsin law to account for marriage equality." The bill aims to clarify the parental rights of same sex couples and modernize the language used in family and marriages statutes. Specifically, the bill would affirm:

  • the right for married couples to jointly adopt children, and for one spouse to adopt the other spouse's child;
  • the right for married couples to jointly have a child through artificial insemination of one of the spouses; and
  • the presumption that two people who have a child within in their marriage are the parents of that child.

"It is particularly impactful to introduce these bills today — as today is the one-year anniversary of President Joe Biden signing the bipartisan Respect for Marriages Act into federal law, which provides statutory protection for same-sex and interracial marriages," leaders with the LGBTQ+ Caucus said in a statement. "It's long past time for our state constitution and our state statutes to reflect that marriage equality is the law of the land."