Wisconsin Supreme Court Rejects Case Seeking to Strip Away Domestic Partnership Protections

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Decision Ensures Domestic Partnership Protections for Over 15,000 Wisconsin Same-Sex Couples

Date

Date: 
11/04/2009

(Madison, Wisconsin November 4, 2009) — Today, Lambda Legal and Fair Wisconsin applaud the Wisconsin Supreme Court's decision to reject a lawsuit brought by Wisconsin Family Action, an antigay group attempting to strip away newly enacted domestic partnership protections for same-sex couples and their families.

"We are pleased that the Court has rejected this challenge to an important law that was validly enacted to protect Wisconsin families," said Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's Midwest Regional Office based in Chicago. "Because of today's ruling, Wisconsin's same-sex couples and their families who depend on domestic partnership protections can take care of each other in times of illness and crisis. Even with the discriminatory amendment excluding same-sex couples from marriage, the Wisconsin Constitution does not prevent enactment of laws that offer basic decency and security for couples."

Fair Wisconsin, the statewide LGBT advocacy group, along with national and regional allies, recently helped enact these important domestic partnership protections for same-sex couples. Fair Wisconsin, vigorous opponents of the 2006 amendment banning marriage equality and civil unions, is defending the new domestic partnership law. Lambda Legal filed to intervene in the lawsuit on behalf of Fair Wisconsin and its members to protect the few but fundamental protections granted to same-sex couples through the domestic partnership law. After reviewing the case, Wisconsin Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit.

"We are elated with this decision from the State Supreme Court," says Executive Director Katie Belanger. "Over 15,000 same-sex couples in our state need the basic protections domestic partnerships provide."

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Contact Info

Contact: Jonathan Adams 212-809-8585 ext 267; jadams@lambdalegal.org

Fair Wisconsin Contact: Christine Callsen 608-441-0143 ext. 301; ccallsen@fairwisconsin.com

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

Fair Wisconsin, one of the state’s most respected advocacy groups, has a proud history in education, grassroots organizing, outreach, and political action in the cause of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. With a statewide board of directors and a full-time staff, Fair Wisconsin is the only organization to represent the Badger state in the Equality Federation, the national alliance of state-based LGBT advocacy organizations. To learn more, visit www.fairwisconsin.com