Wisconsin Referendum 1

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Wisconsin Referendum 1 of 2006 was a referendum on an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution that would invalidate same-sex marriages or any substantially similar legal status. The referendum was approved by 59% of voters during the general elections in November 2006.[1] All counties in the state voted for the amendment except Dane County (home of the state capital, Madison), which opposed it.


The text of the adopted amendment, which became Article XIII, Section 13 of the state constitution, reads:

As required by the constitution, the amendment was approved by both houses of the legislature, in two consecutive sessions. The legislative history of the amendment is as follows:

  • December 6, 2005: Approved by the State Senate a second time, by a vote of 19-14.[4]
  • February 28, 2006: Approved by the State Assembly a second time.
  • November 7, 2006: Approved by referendum, by a margin of 59.4%-40.6%.[5]

Legal challenge[edit]

In April 2009 the Wisconsin Supreme Court was asked in McConkey v. Van Hollen to rule on whether the 2006 Referendum 1 was constitutional. William McConkey, a political science instructor, claimed that the measure violated the state's constitution because it proposed more than one question in a single ballot proposal, which is impermissible under Wisconsin law.[6][7][8] On June 30, 2010, the Court ruled that the amendment is constitutional.[9][10] However, on June 6, 2014 the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin overturned all bans on same-sex marriage in the state.[11] On October 6, 2014, same sex marriage was legalized in Wisconsin.


  1. ^ CNN.com Election 2006 - Ballot Measures Accessed 14 December 2006.
  2. ^ "DOMAwatch.org - Wisconsin" Alliance Defense Fund. 2006. Accessed 06 January 2007.
  3. ^ Assembly Joint Resolution 66, Journal of the Wisconsin Senate, March 11, 2004, p. 717. The final vote was taken shortly after midnight on March 12.
  4. ^ Senate Joint Resolution 53, Journal of the Wisconsin Senate, Dec. 6, 2005, p. 488.
  5. ^ Canvass Summary, Wisconsin State Elections Board, Fall General Election, Nov. 7, 2006.
  6. ^ Wisconsin amendment supreme court
  7. ^ Christopher Magnum, Wis. "Supreme Court Hears Gay Marriage Case", Advocate.com, Nov. 3, 2009.
  8. ^ Patrick Marley, "State Supreme Court hears arguments on gay marriage amendment", The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov. 3, 2009.
  9. ^ Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds Gay Marriage Ban
  10. ^ Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds gay marriage ban
  11. ^ "Wisconsin's same-sex marriage ban struck down". http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/wisconsin-s-same-sex-marriage-ban-struck-down/article_d4b76da1-3fc7-5946-9cb2-dc7ea1d81f94.html. 

External links[edit]