Monday, September 18, 2006

Fair Wisconsin Releases New Ad

Statewide Focus on Real Families Hurt by the Civil Unions & Marriage Ban

For Immediate Release: Monday, Sept. 18th, 2006

Madison -- Fair Wisconsin debuted a new statewide ad today that focuses on the real-life story of a Wisconsin family who would be hurt by the civil unions and marriage ban.

To view the ad, visit:

“The goal of the ad is to help voters understand how families in Wisconsin—like Lynn, Jean, and Katy—would be hurt because the constitutional ban denies them basic rights,” said Fair Wisconsin campaign manager Mike Tate. “This is not an abstract debate about the 'definition of marriage.' We’re talking about how we should treat our friends, families, coworkers, and neighbors.”

The ban would outlaw basic rights that come with civil unions or marriage, such as hospital visits, medical decisions, shared pensions, or bereavement leave in the case of a death in the family.

Fair Wisconsin has been running ads for several weeks. The first ads introduced the civil unions and marriage ban to voters and featured actual "people on the street" reacting to the amendment’s far-reaching second sentence.

The new ad explains the story of Lynn and Jean, and their daughter Katy. After being together for 15 years, Jean was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Because Lynn was not legally recognized as Jean’s next of kin, they faced obstacles beyond what any family faces when a loved one has cancer. Even after paying lawyers to put together the few, limited protections available, the family faced significant financial worries and uncertainty over whether Lynn would be allowed to see Jean in the hospital or make critical medical decisions.

Hundreds of legal experts, former Wisconsin Bar Association presidents, the Wisconsin Medical Society, former governors, business leaders, advocates for the elderly, and labor groups agree that the amendment will not only outlaw civil unions but could also overturn existing protections for unmarried couples, including powers of attorney and domestic partner health care benefits. This could mean families in Lynn and Jean's situation could have an even more difficult time, if the ban passes.

“There are thousands of gay families who live in every part of Wisconsin. They are minding their own business, taking care of one another, and contributing to their communities like everyone else,” said Tate. “It’s wrong to deny basic rights to a family that has been together for 10, 15, or 20 years. Once voters understand the human impact of the ban, they will vote no.”

Fair Wisconsin maintains a Story Collection Project to help explain these families’ lives and the way they will be harmed by the civil unions and marriage ban. To learn more visit:


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