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Wisconsin judge rules domestic partner registry is constitutional

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wisconsin Domestic Partners Tamara Packard (left) and Renee Herber on August 3, 2009.

A judge in Wisconsin on Monday ruled that domestic partnerships are not substantially similar to marriages, and that such partnerships do not violate the state’s 2006 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Dane County Judge Daniel Moeser on Monday threw out a challenge to the state’s domestic partnership law and ruled the law constitutional.

Moeser wrote in his decision that the state’s domestic partnership law “does not violate the Marriage Amendment because it does not create a legal status for domestic partners that is identical or substantially similar to that of marriage. The state does not recognize domestic partnership in a way that even remotely resembles how the state recognizes marriage.”

“Moreover, domestic partners have far fewer legal rights, duties, and liabilities in comparison to the legal rights, duties, and liabilities of spouses.”

Wisconsin’s domestic partnerships allow same-sex couples to visit each other in hospitals, make end-of-life decisions, and inherit each other’s property. The partnerships do not guarantee any ability to share benefits, and same-sex couples still don’t have the right to adopt.

The registry was created in 2009 under Democratic Governor Jim Doyle.

Wisconsin Family Action, a conservative advocacy group that filed the court challenge, said it would not give up the fight.

“We will appeal this decision because this domestic partnership scheme is precisely the type of marriage imitation that the voters intended to prevent,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action.

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6 more reader comments:

  1. All i want is for my son to get married, We have an awesome fashion show runway wedding (stomping down the isle) planned for gods sake…lets go people!

    Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 5:42pm
  2. Now if only our governor would see that!

    Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 5:44pm
  3. Glad to be from Wisconsin!

    Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 5:45pm
  4. “Not substantially similar to marriages” ohhhhh let us count the thousand ways…..

    Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 6:52pm
  5. So, the judge has recognized what many LGBTQ people have said all along; domestic partnerships are NOT as good as marriage…the fight goes on.

    Why am I not surprised that Julaine Appalling has said, “We will appeal this decision because this domestic partnership scheme is precisely the type of marriage imitation that…” Obviously significantly reduced rights to the point of no longer resembling marriage is still not good enough. Pathetic, truly pathetic.

    Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 7:45pm
  6. Marriage in a legal sense is a domestic partner contract. Wtf possible difference can be the big deal? Rabid and blind biggotry maybe?

    Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 12:04am