Wisconsin's decision yesterday to ban same-sex marriage will have an unintended effect on the state's 4,100 married Hmong couples. By banning civil unions in favor of state-sanctioned marriages, the measure invalidated traditional Hmong unions.
Registering their marriages is, in one sense, no more than a simple trip to the courthouse to buy a marriage certificate.
The problem, Hmong leaders say, is that represents a cultural shift that could lead to a wider embrace of a legalistic approach to marriage that would encourage Hmong couples to override clan jurisdiction and undermine traditional values of monogamy.
"It will also shock Hmong couples who have seen themselves as married for a long time," [Pheng] Xiong said. [Link]