Wisconsin high court refuses to hear challenge to domestic partner registry

Court rulingThe Wisconsin Supreme Court has rejected a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin’s domestic partner registry.

The court offered no explanation in an order issued Tuesday.

The law took effect in August, allowing gay couples to register with counties so they could get about 40 of the 150 rights afforded married couples, such as hospital visitation rights.

Wisconsin Family Action, a conservative group, filed a lawsuit in July claiming the registry violates the state constitution’s ban on gay marriage and civil unions. The group asked the state Supreme Court to take it up directly without going through trial or appeals courts because of the issue’s statewide significance.

The court decided Tuesday not to take the case, but did not say why, although it rarely takes cases filed directly to the court, allowing most cases to come to it from lower courts.

The group’s attorneys, Richard Esenberg and Michael Dean, issued a statement saying they were disappointed but the they could now bring the suit at the trial court level.

More than 900 Wisconsin couples have signed up since it went into effect in August.

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