News (USA)

Wis. Supreme Court to hear challenge to state’s domestic partner registry

Wis. Supreme Court to hear challenge to state’s domestic partner registry

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the state’s domestic partner registry, which grants same-sex couples a number of legal rights.

Members of the conservative group Wisconsin Family Action filed a lawsuit in 2010 alleging the registry violates a 2006 state constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage or anything substantially similar.

Wisconsin Supreme Court

In December, the 4th District Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court decision that the registry does not violate the state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

“Regardless of the precise meaning of the term ‘substantially similar,’ the rights and obligations of marriage are not substantially similar to the rights and obligations of domestic partnerships,” the appeals court ruled.

The Supreme Court’s spokesman issued a statement Friday saying the court would take the case, but the statement didn’t include any explanation why.

It’s unclear when the court might hear arguments or render a decision.

In June 2009, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed the domestic partnership registry into law, granting limited legal protections to same-sex couples, including hospital visitation and the ability to take a family medical leave to care for a sick or injured partner.

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