The governor continues to defend a statewide domestic partner registry for same-sex couples. (Andrew Beckett)
Gay couples across Wisconsin were able to begin registering this morning for government-recognized domestic partnerships. Governor Jim Doyle says the provision included in the state budget grants those residents some basic protections, which he views as a major step forward for basic rights.
The registry grants about 43 protections to same sex couples, such as hospital visitation rights. Doyle says it's far from the over 200 protections given to same-sex couples that get married.
The registry still faces a legal challenge from a group that says it violates a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Doyle says those who filed the suit are going against what they said when the amendment was being pushed for a public vote, when supporters claimed it would not prohibit a set of basic rights for domestic partners. Doyle remains confident the registry provision is legal.