County clerks around Wisconsin are scrambling to comply with a provision under the state budget that recognizes same sex partnerships and affords some of the same protections as marriage.
Fond du Lac County Clerk Lisa Freiberg says same-sex couples will be able to get a declaration of domestic partnership for the same cost as a marriage license. Unlike a marriage though, the partnership could be nullified through a certificate of termination for the same cost. She says forms and programming information are being developed by the state.
It all has to be in place by August 3rd, when the partnerships can start being licensed. Freiberg says the requirements will be the same as for a marriage license, such as providing a birth certificate and proof of residency.
Some of the benefits same-sex couples will be allowed through the registration include hospital visitation rights, end-of-life decision making, and family medical leave. State employees, along with U-W faculty and staff, will be also able to get group health and retirement benefits.
The Fond du Lac County Board, along with others across the state, will need to set the fee for domestic partnership declarations and termination certificates. The proposed fee is $90.