Lawsuit Filed Challenging Domestic Partner Registry in Wisconsin
Less than two months after the Wisconsin Supreme Court voted unanimously to uphold the state's ban on same-sex marriage, a conservative group has filed suit challenging the state's domestic partner registry, saying it violates that ban.
"The lawsuit filed in Dane County Circuit Court by members of Wisconsin Family Action contends the registry creates a legal status substantially similar to that of marriage. Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, proposed the registry as a means of granting same-sex couples more legal rights, such as the right to visit each other in hospitals, make end-of-life decisions and inherit each other’s property. The Democratic-controlled Legislature approved the registry and it went into effect in August 2009. By the end of the year 1,329 couples had signed up. The same-sex marriage ban, actively pushed by the same group bringing the lawsuit against the registry, was added to the constitution by voters in 2006."
Fair Wisconsin executive director Katie Belanger says that while 200 benefits are guaranteed to heterosexual couples through marriage, same-sex couples only get 43 of those benefits through domestic partner registry:
"These are the most basic, critical things that couples need to have to take care of one another."