Governor Doyle says a proposal to create a statewide domestic partner registry would not violate Wisconsin's Constitution.

A provision in the proposed state budget would allow same-sex couples to register as domestic partners at the county level. The budget language says registered domestic partners would be extended certain dependent or survivor benefits for employee benefits, health and mental health and after-death decision making, probate matters, property matters, and motor vehicle titles.

Governor Jim Doyle says it would give legal rights to couples who are often lifelong partners. He says they deserve to have more control over decisions that could impact the life of a person they love.

Critics have questioned if the provision is constitutional, under the state's ban on gay marriage. Doyle denies that it would create a partnership similar to marriage. He also questions why anyone would want to deny people basic legal protections.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (MP3 :55)

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