Wisconsin Court Upholds Domestic Partner Benefits

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December 21, 2012

Today, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals upheld as constitutional the state's Domestic Partner Registry, in a case brought by Lambda Legal on behalf of Fair Wisconsin and five same-sex couples.

"The court has affirmed what we have maintained all along - it is ridiculous to suggest that a domestic partnership law could be considered anything closely resembling a marriage for purposes of state law," said Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's Midwest Regional Office. "In fact, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals rejected the plaintiffs' arguments as 'nonsense.' We fought off this ugly attack against the rights and protections currently available to same-sex couples and their families in Wisconsin - a sweet holiday present to loving couples and families."

In June 2009, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed domestic partnerships into law, granting limited but important 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. Wisconsin Family Action, an antigay group, brought a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court arguing that the domestic partnership law is a violation of Wisconsin's constitutional amendment banning marriage equality.

Click here for more information about the decision, and learn more about Lambda Legal's Appling v. Doyle case here.