Former state Rep. David Clarenbach was feted July 9 at a reception at Quivey's Grove hosted by OutReach. The occasion was the 30th anniversary of Wisconsin's gay rights law, which Clarenbach sponsored. It outlaws discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, employment and public accommodations, and was the first such law in the nation.
Judging from remarks by Clarenbach, it's unclear whether such a law could have passed in today's state Legislature.
"We were able to get Republican support to create a truly bipartisan gay rights law," Clarenbach told the crowd, which included state Rep. Mark Pocan, District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, former County Board Supervisor Dick Wagner and Dane County Circuit Court Judge Shelley Gaylord. "Without those votes it wouldn't have passed."