Both Sides: a coalition forms to support same-sex marriage

Wisconsin Unites for Marriage Event
Wisconsin Unites for Marriage Event

APPLETON - Supporters of same-sex marriage have started a new push for their cause in Wisconsin.

The state's ban on gay marriage will be tied up in court at least until an appeals court hearing in three weeks.

Lisa West has told FOX 11 how much she loves her wife Berri and their children. Wednesday she shared her story with other gay marriage supporters, in Appleton.

"We came today to share with you our passion for each other and our love for our family. We came today to show our support for other families who have stories just like ours," said West.

The group is called "Wisconsin Unites for Marriage." It's created a website,, which shares photos and testimony from same-sex couples and their families.

Even though the decision is in the courts' hands, supporters told FOX 11 they want to keep educating the public about their cause.

The opposition told us, however, marriage should stay between one man and one woman. Wisconsin Family Action said children should be raised by a mother and father.

"To give that child the very best possibility of growing up and becoming a production citizen of our state," explained executive director Julaine Appling.

Same sex marriage supporters also said making gay marriage legal is the right economic move.

"We don't want that money going to other states. We also know that in order to retain and recruit really great talent we have to be cutting edge and Wisconsin needs to move forward," explained Kathy Flores, The City of Appleton's diversity coordinator.

But there is another view.

"By their own admission, only one to three percent of the entire population identifies as gay or lesbian. That cannot have the kind of economic impact that they're claiming," said Appling.

Wisconsin Family Action added, many disagree with gay marriage on a religious basis.

"Whether it's in business or the public sector in general, or wherever it is they should certainly be able to live their faith 24-7," said Appling.

"Certainly people have the right to disagree on religious bases. The government and religion are two different things," said Flores.

And it's up to the judicial system what happens next.

Similar announcements took place Thursday in Miwaukee, Madison, and Eau Claire.