March 11, 2004
Parental advisory: Obscene dialogue. Protect your children
I used to love seeing teachers bringing noisy, curious and almost always polite youngsters to the Capitol. The students would look with awe at the majestic Supreme Court chambers, the Assembly and Senate. The teachers proudly pronounced, "This is where your laws are made and interpreted."
As the Senate debates the ban on gay marriage it seems like a good time to warn teachers to skip the spring trip to Madison. Having young minds in the gallery to listen to bigotry spewing from the mouths of leaders such as Mary Panzer is not good for kids. The idea of the Republican leadership avoiding important issues to demagogue against gays and lesbians is outrageous. It is a throw-back to the 1960s in Alabama and Mississippi where other majority types picked on minorities. Shameful.
Wisconsin Republicans should hang their heads in shame. This is where the Republican Party was born. Try to imagine what those progressives who gathered in Ripon to take on slavery would say today.
Wisconsin Republicans not only want to ban gay marriage but "deny legal status to any relationship identical or substantially similar to that of marriage." I almost hope it passes so the people of what Bob La Follette called "this special place called Wisconsin" can defeat this measure by an overwhelming majority.
But for now, parents and teachers, keep your children away. It's not safe.
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