Conservatives are hoping that they can win in the Republcian-leaning Supreme Court of Wisconsin after an appeals court sided with the state’s LGBT population regarding the constitutionality of the state’s domestic partnership registry. Conservatives have argued that the registry bestows upon same-sex couples a state similar to marriage, and this violates the 2006 state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage or anything approaching that.
The anti-equality groups would have to move quickly, though, as the Supreme Court is set to rule on the constitutionality of bans on same-sex marriage and on the Defense of Marriage Act next year.
The 4th District Court of Appeals found that the legislators who supported the ban stated emphatically and repeatedly that the ban would not prevent same-sex couples from receiving some of the benefits that opposite-sex couples obtain through marriage including joint ownership of property, joint adoption, and health benefits.
Fair Wisconsin executive director Katie Belanger stated “It demonstrates that Wisconsin really is about trying to treat people fairly. That’s what we believe in. The amendment was an unfortunate setback for equality in Wisconsin. But we still believe caring and committed couples should have legal protections to take care of each other in times of need.”
The registry was created in 2009, and Wisconsin Family Action filed the lawsuit against it in 2010. Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen refused to defend the registry, and Governor Scott Walker fired the lawyers hired by former Governor Jim Doyle to defend the law. Last year, the law was ruled constitutional.