A Dane County Judge has upheld the domestic partner registry but the fight is likely not over. Judge Daniel Moeser ruled Monday the state is not recognizing domestic partnerships in a way that “even remotely resembles how the state recognizes marriage.”
This decision came after Wisconsin Family Action challenged the registry last summer, claiming it violates the state’s Constitutional ban on gay marriage and civil unions. Moeser rejected that argument, noting that the registry only grants about one-fifth of the rights to same-sex couples that married couples receive with a license.
In a statement, Family Action emphasized the public’s opposition to same-sex marriage citing 1.25 million voters who approved a 2006 referendum to ban the practice. President Julaine Appling said, “One judge’s opinion will not stop us. There is a long way to go in this case, all the way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.”
A group also involved in the case, on the other side of the issue, called the ruling a “resounding victory.” Fair Wisconsin Executive Director Katie Belanger was not surprised by the decision saying they knew the registry did not conflict with the Constitutional amendment. Belanger told WRN, the group is “prepared to continue protecting domestic partnerships” and their benefits guaranteed by the state.
The registry allows same-sex couples to apply for benefits at county clerk’s offices, granting them rights such as hospital visitations and control over end-of-life decisions.