MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed Thursday to decide whether the state's 2006 ban on gay marriage was properly put to voters.
A ruling striking down the amendment would not legalize same-sex marriage because state law still defines marriage as a union between husband and wife. However, it could pave the way for lawmakers to eventually allow it, or for advocates to file lawsuits seeking that right.
The 2006 referendum asked whether to rewrite the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman and outlaw the state from granting a similar legal status to unmarried individuals.
The justices are expected to decide two issues. The first is whether the two-part question violated the clause in the constitution that limits referendum questions to a single subject.
The second is whether an individual voter such as McConkey, a straight man who has a gay daughter, has the legal standing to sue. Van Hollen argues he does not.
Interesting on the second issue - If an individual voter doesn't have the ability to address state referendums which become policy, then who does?
While this court case wouldn't legalize gay marriage, it would take away significant barriers in the process of legalization.