In the wake of a federal court’s ruling that Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional Scott Walker tried to downplay his long-held opposition to marriage equality, but Thursday, Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen officially took action to once again deny marriage equality by filing a two-page appeal on the state’s behalf.
Immediately following Crabb’s ruling in June, Walker skirted questions from the press saying, “My position has been clear. I voted in the past. It really doesn’t matter,” and in response to if he was changing his position on marriage Walker said “I’m just not stating one at all.”
Far from not mattering, Walker’s position is incredibly important; Walker can choose to lead on this issue. Instead of continuing to spend the taxpayers’ money in defense of a law that has been found unconstitutional and which a majority of Wisconsinites oppose, Walker can drop the state’s appeal and allow equal treatment and protection under the law for all couples. In May, Republican Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania did just that, choosing not to appeal the federal court ruling that struck down his state’s same-sex marriage ban. And there’s precedent in Wisconsin for the governor to influence the state’s actions on court matters — J.B. Van Hollen and Scott Walker have chosen not to defend the state’s domestic partnership registry.
Without a doubt, Walker felt pressure to abandon his usually outspoken, hardline stance due to the latest public poll showing more than half of registered voters in the state favor marriage equality.
It’s an election year, so Walker wants to have it both ways by dodging questions and ignoring his extreme record in order to pander for votes, all while he works in concert with the attorney general to deny same-sex couples equality protection under the law.
“Scott Walker alone can make marriage equality the law of the land right now by dropping the state’s appeal,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said on Friday. “But even though Walker has tried to downplay his extreme past, his true feelings on marriage equality are on display as he continues to stand in the way of the march towards progress. Again, we call on Scott Walker and J.B. Van Hollen to abandon their attempts to prevent a single Wisconsinite from marrying the person they love.”