Legal & Financial

Wisconsin Governor attempts to create domestic partner registry with expected legal challenges

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the constitutionality of Gov. Doyle’s domestic partner registry in is question.

Gov. Jim Doyle’s proposal to create a statewide domestic partner registry for Wisconsin’s same-sex couples would be unique in the nation if it becomes law and survives an expected legal challenge, experts and advocates said. That’s because no state that both bans gay marriage and prohibits other legal recognition of same-sex relationships — as Wisconsin does — allows domestic partnerships or civil unions.

Four states now allow gay marriage, including Iowa, where that state’s Supreme Court approved it earlier this month, and Vermont, where state lawmakers last week legalized the practice by overriding a gubernatorial veto. In addition, California, Maine, Washington, Hawaii and Oregon allow for domestic partnerships but ban gay marriage. But none of those states prohibits state recognition of relationships “identical or substantially similar” to marriage, as Wisconsin’s constitution does under an amendment approved by voters in 2006.