Updated June 21, 2005 Compiled & written by Mike Fitzpatrick
Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Coordinates
Marriage Ban With Anti-Gay Group
Madison - Assembly Speaker and Majority Leader John Gard (R-Peshtigo) apparently is coordinating the scheduling the second introduction of the proposed constitutional amendment banning any legal recognition of gay and other unmarried couples with Wisconsin's leading anti-gay organization.
Quest has obtained a copy of a June 2 letter written by Gard to Julaine Appling, the Executive Director of the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin, detailing plans for a Spring 2006 reintroduction of the amendment proposal. Gard also wrote that he believes that "the best time to bring this issue before the voters is when we have the potential for high voter turnout," noting the November, 2006 election would be the next such vote.
Gard also praised Appling's organization for the "grassroots efforts regarding the proposed constitutional amendment." Gard also claimed that the bill is "one of the most important pieces of legislation will act upon this session."
Gard, who recently announced his candidacy for the 8th U. S. Congressional District to replace announced gubernatorial candidate Mark Green (R-Green Bay) likely would benefit from an increased voter turnout on the civil union ban referendum.
Gard's coordination letter comes as Action Wisconsin, the lead organization opposing the amendment announced its success in recruiting and training more than 250 speakers to explain how the proposed amendment's broad language, in the group's words, "goes too far and hurts real families." The revelation of Gard's letter also comes just weeks after three Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synods, representing over 250,000 members, voted to oppose the proposed constitutional amendment.