MADISON, Wisconsin (WKOW) - The Minnesota Senate will debate and vote on a bill to legalize gay marriage today (05/13). This is the last step before it heads to Gov. Mark Dayton (D), who has promised to sign it. Minnesota would be the 12th state to legalize gay marriage.
Legalizing gay marriage in Wisconsin would be significantly more difficult to pass. Wisconsin is one of 28 states with a constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage. Back in 2006, 59% of Wisconsinites voted to ban gay marriage.
For a law to be approved the legislature would have to repeal the amendment in two consecutive sessions. It would then go back on the ballot for Wisconsin voters to decide. Then, a bill could be proposed.
"When Wisconsin will be surrounded on three sides by states with full marriage equality it definitely changes the conversation and it changes the landscape that we're dealing with. I think it calls into question where our legislative leadership is at on these issues," says Katie Belange, the Executive Director of First Wisconsin.
Wisconsin voters also showed that they are not in favor of gay marriage in 2006. Advocates believe numbers have shifted in their favor over the last few years, but say there's still a long road ahead of them.
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