Even though I was pretty optimistic going into the weekend, what I saw surprised me. The amount of support and passion in the room went far beyond what I expected. Almost every speaker mentioned Fair Wisconsin's efforts and encouraged Dems to stand against the amendment. During Tate's speech, more people stood up to cheer in the convention hall than at almost any other point. And I think it was the first time I've seen some of the more rough and tough labor guys on their feet yelling and cheering about the rights of gay people in our state.
Part of the Tate's speech told the story of a Wisconsin couple that had been together for 15 years when one partner died. The other was unable to ever obtain her partner's medial records, shut out of funeral planning process, and even had her legal rights to their daughter threatened.
"When the person you choose to spend your life with is dying, the last thing you should ever, ever have to think about is whether you have enough legal documents to see them in the hospital," Tate told the crowd. "That's not how we treat people here in Wisconsin."
And it seems like the Democratic base in this state agrees.