The voters of Wisconsin will have the chance to make history tomorrow, Nov. 7. They will decide whether to amend the state Constitution to disallow same-sex marriage and civil unions, and we urge you to vote "No" and strike down this blatantly discriminatory measure.

The proposed amendment states, "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state." This measure was passed by two consecutive sessions of the Legislature, and now the voting population of Wisconsin is the only body standing between the rights of all people in the state and sheer bigotry.

Such a resolution would be detrimental to the University of Wisconsin System, which, under state statute, cannot give domestic partner benefits to any of its employees. This amendment would ensure that the state's universities would be hampered in attracting and retaining quality professionals.

In their campaign to ban gay marriage, proponents of the amendment have cited studies claiming that same-sex couples are less stable than their heterosexual counterparts and that an upbringing in a gay household would be damaging to children. However, these studies are refuted by other research that demonstrates no correlation between the quality of a child's family life and the sexual preferences of his parents.

Furthermore, state statutes already define marriage as solely between a man and a woman, which renders this legislation superfluous. And while supporters of the ban claim the proposal would protect the state from "activist judges," there is an undeniable trend in the social acceptance of homosexuality. It is extremely difficult to remove an amendment to the state Constitution, and legislators would likely challenge the ban in the future should it pass.

While we understand that some people in the state religiously object to gay marriage, we call on voters and future lawmakers to observe the separation of church and state that is granted in the U.S. Constitution. Prejudice rooted in religious ideology — or in any other form — should never be written into the state Constitution.

Let's make Wisconsin the first state in the U.S. to vote down this type of amendment. Vote "No" to keep the state moving in the right direction and guarantee equality to all.