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Wisconsin Courage Campaign members ask Sen. Kohl to become the final DOMA vote on committee

DOMA Repeal

By Adam Bink

Yesterday morning, we at Courage Campaign asked our members in Wisconsin to write to Sen. Kohl and ask that he become the last vote we need to pass DOMA repeal out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

10 votes are required to pass legislation from the Senate Judiciary Committee. With Sen. Klobuchar now onboard with the bill and 8 other Democrats on the committee who are co-sponsors of the bill, Sen. Kohl’s support would give our movement the votes we need to pass repeal… before the hearings even start.

Here’s what a few of our Wisconsin members had to say to Sen. Kohl:

John in Shorewood, WI: “My husband Michael and I are lifelong Wisconsin residents and have voted for Sen. Kohl every chance we’ve had. DOMA is an appallingly discriminatory law that directly affects us, as it prevents any federal recognition of our Canadian marriage, despite the fact that we’ve been happily married for over five years. This unconstitutional law has got to go, and I’m saddened that my senator is the only Democrat who has not taken a firm stance against homophobia by announcing his intent to vote to repeal DOMA, much less signing on as a co-sponsor. Come on, Senator Kohl. Show some backbone here. I encourage you to take the long view and stand on the right side of history, but more importantly, remember that this unjust law directly affects not just Michael and I, but thousands of other Wisconsin constituents. It needs to go. Help make that happen.”

Mark in Bayside: “You sent me a letter of congratulations for receiving an award from the North Shore Educators last month.  I have a lot of respect for the work you do but if you can’t understand the importance of  repealing DOMA, and can’t see your way to voting now to repeal in then I will have to re-evaluate my thinking on your abilities to represent this State in the Senate.  Please think again.”

Amanda in Kenosha: “Dear Senator Kohl, I am writing as a Wisconsin resident (Kenosha), as a Navy veteran, and as a woman who is legally married to another woman (dependent, of course, on where we are geographically positioned).  As you’re aware, in Wisconsin my wife and I are little more than roommates, providing many complications for us and our two children (Alex is 11 and Kenzie is 7). I served to defend the premise of freedom and liberty and equality, and would be most grateful if you would serve under the same premise.  Please, co-sponsor the DOMA repeal.  It’s the right and just thing to do.”

Elna in Bayside: “I have always voted for Senator Kohl – as the mother of a gay son and his partner of 29 years it is vital to their well-being that Sen. Kohl joins in making the repeal happen!!!   Please do what is right for my sons – and those friends and family members that I love.    This is a human rights issue – PLEASE – be the one who takes this stand – I don’t like saying courageous, but if that is how you need to see it – then please do.”

Katie in Spring Green: “Dear Senator Kohl, as a constituent and voter who has helped return you to office several times, I strongly urge you to vote for repeal of DOMA in the Senate Judiciary Committee. My husband and I believe LGBT persons should have all the same civil rights as the rest of us. Period. Why ever not? This is the American and just thing to do.”

Rev. Claire in Milwaukee: “I am a supporter of Senator Kohl, having voted for him every time.  I believe DOMA is discriminatory and based on predjudice.  We live in a diverse nation; all should be free to marry someone of their own choosing and not be bound by prescription.”

Alan in Fish Creek: “Sen. Kohl – My wife and I have voted for you in every election.  She was privileged and thrilled to meet you at Watts recently. The repeal of DOMA is extremely important to me.  You must know many, as we do, who are directly affected by this ridiculously discrimatory law.  Many lives and relationships are thrown into chaos by depriving people of their full liberty. Please vote to repeal DOMA!”

Mary in Madison: “Sen. Kohl, I have voted for you in the past many times. REPEAL DOMA please!!!!  This is critical for my family and it’s the right thing to do. Fail to vote to repeal and you will lose my vote in the future.”

If you have a message to send to Sen. Kohl — especially if you’re a Wisconsin resident/native, or have voted for, volunteered for, or contributed to him in the past — please send him a note here.

While it’s a long, multi-year slog towards getting this bill on the President’s desk, this would be a big shot in the arm. Imagine headlines in your local paper “Senate committee votes to repeal DOMA”, with explanations of how DOMA hurts all kinds of families. The education it would provide to those for whom DOMA is still an unknown level of discrimination is valuable. It would also send a signal to Congresspeople and Senators that the momentum towards equality is on our side, and encourage them to support the bill.

You can also sign up to be a volunteer DOMA captain on Arisha, Anthony, Phyllis and Danny’s new and intrepid team. All you need to do is spend a few hours per month helping with DOMA repeal in your state. We’ve got captains in 30 states so far who could use buddies, and more states who could use captains!


  • 1. Kathleen  |  April 12, 2011 at 3:41 am

  • 2. Alan E.  |  April 12, 2011 at 3:49 am

    reading later

  • 3. Ann S.  |  April 12, 2011 at 4:02 am


  • 4. Straight for Equalit  |  April 12, 2011 at 6:19 am

  • 5. JonT  |  April 12, 2011 at 11:30 am

  • 6. Sagesse  |  April 12, 2011 at 4:13 am

    For later.

  • 7. Ronnie  |  April 12, 2011 at 5:21 am

    Subscribing to read later…& sharing…..

    Here is Part One of the Advocate's "Forty Under 40" featuring:

    2 actresses, 4 activists, a Maryland delegate, an artist/sculptor , a marketing director for Chase/adviser to JPMorgan Chase's PRIDE, a health worker, a Montana state rep., an entertainer/comedian, a talent agent, an Olympic speed skater, a former White House staffer, a journalist, & a college basketball player.

    Here are their stories…..<3…Ronnie:

  • 8. Ronnie  |  April 12, 2011 at 5:24 am

    (sighs) let's try subscribing again…. <3…Ronnie

  • 9. Ronnie  |  April 12, 2011 at 6:34 am

    Apologies, there was one more mention at the bottom of the last page….a professional softball player…..

    To got with that….Here is Kirsten Dunst presenting 17yo Texas student, Nikki Peet (who is in part1 of the Advocate's "Forty under 40") with GLAAD's Special Recognition Award for her triumphant win to get a GSA in her Texas high school. Congratulations Nikki…….<3…Ronnie:

  • 10. spudbeach  |  April 12, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Um — I emailed Sen. Kohl the last time this was mentioned, and here is the pertinent part of his reply:

    The fair and equal treatment of all Americans is the cornerstone of our
    society and our political system. Despite great progress, the struggle for
    equal treatment for many citizens remains today.  I am committed to ending
    discrimination in our society and I will work with my colleagues in the
    Senate to ensure that same-sex couples are treated equally. 

    Now, that may be mealy-mouth posturing, but the "same-sex couples are treated equally" sounds good to me.

  • 11. adambink  |  April 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for posting this, spudbeach.

  • 12. Late afternoon equality r&hellip  |  April 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    […] you haven’t asked Sen. Kohl to become the last vote we need on the Senate Judiciary Committee, please do so now. Stories from Wisconsin supporters of DOMA […]

  • 13. VICTORY: Sen. Kohl agrees&hellip  |  April 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

    […] week, over 1,000 Courage Campaign members wrote to Sen. Kohl, asking him to become the 10th and final Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee to support […]

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