Wis. Gov. Scott Walker Largely Silent on Gay Marriage
Gov. Scott Walker has a history of forcefully opposing same-sex marriage in Wisconsin, but he’s been much quieter on the topic recently as the state’s ban was determined to be unconstitutional and polls show public attitudes shifting in favor of allowing gay couples to wed.
Walker, who is running for re-election this year and eyeing a bid for president in 2016, was scheduled to make his first public appearance Thursday since a federal judge last week struck down the state’s ban.
Walker campaigned strongly in support of the ban in 2005.
"We must change the Wisconsin State Constitution to say that marriage is to be between one man and one woman," Walker said in November 2005 during a brief run for governor that year. "My belief in this position is even stronger today."
Walker said he voted for the ban, joining with 59 percent of voters statewide to add the ban to the state constitution in 2006. He had previously voted as a member of the state Assembly for a bill in 1997 to prohibit same-sex marriages and declare those conducted in other states to be invalid.
As Milwaukee County executive in 2009, Walker vetoed a measure to provide benefits to same-sex partners of county workers. And once elected governor, in 2011, he fired the state’s attorney defending Wisconsin’s domestic registry law. The state Supreme Court is currently weighing whether the registry violates the state ban on gay marriage.
But in May, Walker said he doesn’t think it will be an issue in this year’s governor’s race.
"Voters don’t talk to me about that," Walker said then, sidestepping questions about whether he still personally supported the ban. "They talk to me about the economy, they talk to me about their kids’ schools, they talk to me about making sure we keep our finances in order."