Chippewa Valley Equality Initiative
Petition Seeking Equal Rights for LGBTQIA+ on WI Forms
Currently, the birth certificate forms to be initially filed after the birth of a child in the state of WI state "Husband" under section 3. This does not represent same-sex parents, and makes it extremely difficult for them to jump through additional hoops to change this on the birth certificate later.
The supreme court ruled in 2017 "Pavan v. Smith", that same-sex spouses are to be allowed to have both individuals listed as parents on the birth certificate. This was after the US District Court in WI ruled in 2016 "Torres v. Seemeyer" the same.
A local Eau Claire resident found, upon doing some research into the Wisconsin statutes (Specifically 891.40 (1) & (2)), the department was directed to "construe sub. (1) in gender-neutral terms. In particular, the word “husband" in sub. (1) should be construed to mean “spouse." Torres v. Seemeyer."
While same-sex couples currently have the opportunity to have both parents listed on the birth certificate, they are unable to do so immediately after the birth of the child, due to the form. They must jump through loopholes after the fact, to get both individuals listed properly.
This is absolutely unethical and unconstitutional, as it does not allow same-sex partners the same equal rights, as other parents, when giving birth to a child.
The Wisconsin LGBTQ+ Legislative Caucus has introduced a bill to update Wisconsin’s statutes regarding same-sex marriage, parentage, and birth certificates across multiple sessions, usually in odd-numbered years as part of the Equality Agenda. Last session, the bill received bipartisan support (as 2019 Assembly Bill 337/Senate Bill 566). However, the bill did not receive a public hearing or a vote in the Assembly and died at the end of session.
We cannot stand, or allow this to continue, and must demand that a hearing, that changes Wisconsin statutes and forms to be gender neutral and inclusive and equal for all families.
HOW TO HELP:
Sign the petition: HERE
Contact your state representative and state senator to request that they cosponsor and support the Marriage and Family Equality Act (2019 AB 337) when it is reintroduced.
Find your state representative HERE
Find your state senator HERE
Contact Representative Magnafici, the chair of the Assembly Committee on Family Law, where this bill is likely to be referred, to share your support for a public hearing on this bill.
It has recently come to my attention that multiple forms and statutes in the state of WI in regards to spouses and parentage, still are not gender-neutral. During the 2019-20 legislative season (and prior seasons), multiple representatives and politicians were a part of creating the Marriage and Family Equality Act (2019 AB 337). The bill was referred to the Assembly Committee on Family Law, and did not receive a public hearing, or an executive session. This is beyond disheartening for so many individuals and families, that identify as LGBTQIA+, or have friends and family that are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Same-sex marriage has been legal in the state of Wisconsin since 2014. There have been multiple cases won in the United States Supreme court, ensuring equal rights for those of the LGBTQIA+ community. Changing forms to be inclusive, is setting a precedent for the state of Wisconsin. It is vital that these outdated, and dehumanizing forms are changed as soon as possible, as they are prejudice, and do not refer to all individuals. I am asking that you co-sponsor and support the Marriage and Family Equality Act (2019 AB 337) when it is reintroduced during the current legislative session, and demand a hearing for it by the committee chair. Failure to act in this regard, is complacency and acceptance of prejudice behavior against marginalized individuals in the United States, and specifically the state of Wisconsin. Thank you so much for taking the time to make a difference, and make this world a better place through action and leadership.