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Democratic Sen. Carpenter introduces marriage equality amendment

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - An openly gay Wisconsin Senate Democrat has introduced a constitutional amendment to repeal the state's ban on same-sex marriages and civil unions.

Milwaukee Senator Tim Carpenter announced the amendment Thursday at a news conference. He was joined by a same-sex couple from Madison, and Milwaukee Assembly Democrat JoCasta Zamarripa -- who's bisexual.

The measure comes a week after four same-sex couples and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit to try and throw out the 2006 constitutional anti-gay marriage amendment.

Carpenter said all 14 of the state's other Democratic senators have sponsored his measure. He said Wisconsin is becoming an island, after its neighbors in Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota have allowed same-sex marriages.

The amendment appears to have an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Legislature, as the party's attorney general vows an aggressive effort to defeat the lawsuit and keep the gay marriage ban in place.

Carpenter's amendment would have to be approved in back-to-back legislative sessions and then by the voters in a statewide referendum.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)