Wisconsin Gay Marriage Debate Set For Legislative Hearing

A joint committee in the state Legislature will hold a hearing next week to consider an amendment to the state constitution that would ban gay marriage.

The measure would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman and would bar civil unions from being legally recognized in the state.

The committee meets Tuesday to consider the measure.

The amendment would have to be passed by two consecutive sessions of the Legislature before it could go to voters in a statewide referendum. It already passed both houses once in March 2004.

If the measure passes this session, Republican legislative leaders aim to have the amendment on the ballot for the fall 2006 gubernatorial election.