News :: National

Wisconsin Gov. Walker and Challenger Spar Over Marriage

by Scott Bauer & M.L. Johnson
Tuesday Jun 17, 2014
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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke   (Source:Andy Manis / AP)

MADISON, Wis. - Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke sparred over same-sex marriage on Monday, with Burke saying the Republican incumbent was waffling on whether he believes gay couples should be able to get married in Wisconsin.

In a separate move, the four Democratic members of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to recognize the marriages of more than 500 gay couples who recently wed in the state.

Both Burke and Walker were asked about their positions on gay marriage during separate events in Madison. Walker said Burke, who is running her first statewide campaign, needs a lesson in "Government 101" because she doesn’t understand the governor "can’t arbitrarily change the constitution."

But Burke, at a different event just a couple of miles away, said Walker had been vague regarding what she called a "critical issue."

"I think the people of Wisconsin would like to hear what the governor thinks," Burke said. "I know as governor I’m going to be clear where I stand on issues. It seems pretty political to me that he seems now to be waffling on whether he supports gay marriage or doesn’t. And that is not being clear with voters about that."

Walker responded by repeating what he said on Thursday: He voted for the ban in 2006, but now his stance doesn’t matter because the governor plays no role in changing the constitution. Only the Legislature, the state’s voters or a judge can make changes, he said.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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