Lawmakers introduce marriage equality measures

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Xavier Ward
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Three Madison lawmakers hope to remove barriers that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender-neutral people face in marriage and parenting.

Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, Rep. Jocasta Zamarripa, D-Milwaukee, and Rep. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee, have introduced a marriage equality package that includes one bill and one joint resolution, according to a news release from Spreitzer's office.

The lawmakers are three of the four openly LGBT members of the state Legislature.

The joint resolution would remove language from Section 13 of Article XIII of the Wisconsin Constitution, which designates marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

The language in the constitution is outdated because same-sex marriage is legal nationwide. However, Tess Schleitweiler, Spreitzer's legislative aide, said Spreitzer would like to see it removed anyway.

The bill would eliminate the words “husband and wife” from current state law and replace them with “spouses,” which would include gender-neutral people. It also would replace the word "husband" with "spouse" on birth certificates.

The bill also would replace the word "biological” with “natural” in reference to same-sex couples who use alternative forms of conception.

“As elected officials, the laws that we write don't just govern many aspects of our daily lives. They are also a statement of our aspirations for the ideal state we'd like to live in,” Zamarripa said in the release.

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