Hmong leaders in Wisconsin are trying to change a
state law that would prevent Hmong couples from needing
two wedding ceremonies.
News 8's Kyle Dimke joins us now with more.
In a cultural Hmong wedding.
there is a marriage negotiator called a may-kong
The new legislation would allow may-kong majkoob
to be legally certified to perform a wedding that
would be recognized in the eyes of the state.
Today state politicans and hmong leaders from around
Wisconsin are in La Crosse to discuss the bill.
In a traditional Hmong wedding.
one from the bride and the other from the groom's
negotiate the terms of the marriage.
But most Hmong couples that choose to have a majkoob
officate their wedding.
are not legally recognized as married outside of the
Unless they have a second ceremony.
Mao: 3- They will have to go to the court and then
some of them, if they don't know how to read and write
English or they don't speak English it would be very
hard for them, so they would just do it the Hmong
way and that's it.
Mao Khang is the Vice President of the Hmong 18 Clan
Council in Wisconsin.
The organization supporting this legislation.
But with no Hmong legislators.
state representative Jonathan Brostoff of Milwaukee
is drafting the bill and will be bringing it to the
In hopes of Wisconsin becoming the first state in
the nation to recognize majkoob officiated weddings.
Jon: 3- It's very important to take that first step
and show how it can be done and then they can kind
of, don't have to reinvent the wheel, but they can
kind of learn from us and move forward as well
Brostoff says this bill would give majkoob the same
authority over signing a marriage license as a rabbi,
priest or Native American elder.
Jon: 8- It's very important for the Hmong to have
this right for issues of inheritance, issues of hospital
visitation rights and the other benefits that couples
legally get when they become married
And he says this is something Hmong people deserve.
Jon: 9- to the Hmong who served with us for the war,
who fought for this country, who have been here for
40 years and have been great citizens of this state
reporting in La Crosse kd n8
Wisconsin has one of the largest populations of Hmong
in the U-S.
Minnesota also has a large Hmong population and has
tried to pass a similar bill.
but has failed twice.
Those at today's listening session all took the time
to stand up and stress how important passing this
bill is to them.
The bill has not been introduced yet.
The representative says he expects to do so when the
house returns to session in mid-September.