OAK CREEK, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News) In the midst of a tough re-election battle, Governor Scott Walker is shying away from the hot-button issue of gay marriage. During a news conference in Oak Creek yesterday, the Republican Walker said it doesn't matter what he thinks about the subject anymore -- even though he staunchly opposed same-sex unions a number of times in the past.
Walker did say he supports Attorney General J-B Van Hollen's efforts to uphold the 2006 state constitutional ban on gay marriage, after Federal Judge Barbara Crabb struck it down a week ago. The governor voted for that ban, and has strongly supported it in the past. Walker did not say whether he agrees with Van Hollen's reminder to county clerks yesterday, that they could be prosecuted for issuing same-sex marriage licenses in the aftermath of Judge Crabb's ruling. The judge did not tell counties what to do in the wake of her decision -- and she's expected to take up that matter at a hearing this afternoon.
Walker said the attorney general is right to try and preserve the gay marriage ban, after 59-percent of Wisconsinites voted for it eight years ago. The political winds have shifted since then, however. A recent Marquette poll showed that 55 percent of registered voters would allow same-sex marriages while 37-percent oppose them.