Otherwise Known as ~Z~ (faeriegrrrl23) wrote in polygender_ppl,
Otherwise Known as ~Z~

Senate Judiciary Committee Meeting on the Constitutional Ban on Civil Unions and Gay Marriage

Today was a very long day. We left from the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center at 7am and drove to the Capitol in Madison. It was a pretty good turn out. There were over 300 people who wanted to speak. I was on that list. It was split about 50/50 for/against.

Here's the wording of the amendment:

Wisconsin's Constitual Amendment is also known as AJR 66 SJR 63.

Here's the ban's full wording:
SECTION 1. Section 13 of article XIII of the constitution is created to read: [Article XIII] Section 13. Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.

There were many things said for either side, including many things which are just nonsense, such as the slippery slope theory that if we legalize gay marriage, people are going to want to marry their dogs, siblings etc...

The two best quotes of the day:
"Homosexuals in power positions are sexual terrorists."
and the kicker
(someone had been talking about some gay rights groups' agenda)
"I don't have a copy of the homosexual agenda but I've been looking for it. If you do have a copy of it could you please forward it to my office." Tim Carpenter (I love that man!)

So time ran on and on and they were still taking Testimony as of 4:15. Talia told us we had to leave at about 20 to. I still really wanted to speak so I approached a page and she said she'd see what she could do. So I did get to speak at around 4:30.
Here is what I said (and what they received copies of.):

"To the Senate Judiciary Committee:
My name is Z Kowal. I am a transgender identified lesbian. I am here today to speak against this constitutional ban on civil unions and gay marriage.

This amendment has nothing to do with protecting the sanctity of marriage. It has everything to do with discrimination.

Do we really want to have our founding fathers turn over in their graves? This country was founded on the idea of freedom from persecution. In the Declaration of Independence it states that we are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Who has the right to judge that my pursuit of happiness is not valid? I want the same thing as everyone else. I want to have the same protection of the law. I want the same rights as everyone else. I want the person I love to have the right to make decisions regarding my well-being. I want that person to have rights to our children if something were to happen to me. A power of attorney will not cover these things. My wishes will be denied because legally my partner has no rights.

My sexuality has nothing to do with my ability to raise children. I will raise my children in a household where love will be abundant and gender stereotypes will not be present. Just because my partner does not have sperm and we cannot conceive naturally it does not make having children any less sacred. My children are entitled to the same rights as all children.

I have already experienced discrimination for not being a "married couple" even though it was a committed monagmous relationship. I was in the hospital overnight for back surgery and one nurse came in and because my partner and I weren't married, my partner could not spend the night, although he already had been there all day and through half the night.

In response to the subject of domestic violence. I have been in an abusive relationship. I have been demeaned emotionally, beaten time and time again. I have been threatened. She stated "You don't know me well enough to trust me not to kill you in your sleep," while she held a butcher knife to my throat. I could not call anyone for help. My parents disapproved of the relationship and if I had called the police they would not have helped me. They would have seen my complaints as invalid becasue we were not married. I deserve to not have to worry that the police will let me be brutalized and beaten to death by the woman I am dating. I we use this amendment to condone discrimination, no one will be safe.

The constitution is not meant to be a tool for discrimination. Wisconsin was the first state to have sexual orientation as a protected class. Why should we go back on our progressive roots? Why should we openly and adamantly discriminate against a group of people?

I have the same blood, organs, bones, cells, genes as each and every person in this room. I am not a second class citizen. I deserve the same rights as each and every person in this room and just because I am not heterosexual this should not change. I am against this amendment because this country was founded based on equality and we need to preserve that."
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