Wisconsin Expecting Rush as Domestic Partnerships Become Law
Wisconsin's Domestic Partnership law, which was recently approved as part of a state budget and this week signed by Governor Jim Doyle, will likely make August a busy month for county clerks, Madison's Capital Times reports:
"[August 3 is] the day same-sex couples across the state, including an estimated 1,400 to 2,400 couples living in Dane County, will be able to take advantage of a historic piece of legislation signed Monday by Gov. Jim Doyle that for the first time recognizes domestic partnerships across the state. Along with the recognition come dozens of legal protections that previously were only granted to married couples, including the right to take family leave to care for a sick or dying partner, the ability to access a partner's medical records and the right to inherit a partner's property. In addition, Doyle approved granting health care benefits to the same-sex partners of state employees. 'My sense is we are going to be swamped,' [Dane County Clerk Bob]Ohlsen says. 'Even for those who already get benefits for their partner through their employer, there is a huge advantage to applying to the registry.'"
Wisconsin is now the first state with a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions to recognize domestic partnerships.