Dem. AG candidate starts gay marriage petition

Rep. Richards believes state's ban violates U.S. constitution

One Democratic candidate for Wisconsin attorney general is starting a petition calling on the Department of Justice to stop defending the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Democratic Rep. Jon Richards, of Milwaukee, says he’s for marriage equality and believes Wisconsin’s ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause. He says he won’t defend it if elected attorney general.

He also has posted a petition on his campaign website, asking supporters to join him in asking the state Justice Department not to defend the ban.

Another Democratic candidate, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, says he also would not defend the gay marriage ban.

A Republican candidate, Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel, says it’s the attorney general’s responsibility to defend the state’s laws, not to substitute personal opinions for the law.