October 21, 2014

Appeals Court upholds domestic partnership registry

A state appellate court has ruled Wisconsin’s same-sex domestic partnership registry is Constitutional. The Fourth District Appeals Court upheld an earlier ruling from a Dane County judge, which found the registry does not violate a state constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage.

Fair Wisconsin Executive Director Katie Belanger applauded the decision, calling it a “huge victory for equality and the state of Wisconsin.”

The registry was created in 2009 by then Governor Jim Doyle and grants limited civil protections to same-sex partners. Conservative groups sued the state, claiming the registry violated the gay marriage ban by creating a status similar to marriage. Belanger says the court made it clear the registry does not recognize a relationship in the same way the state views marriage.

Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling, who is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said she was disappointed in the court’s opinion, but noted it does not weaken their resolve to defend the ban. Appling said the group will appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:06)