Nancy Polikoff

Wisconsin domestic partnership law under attack

Filed By Nancy Polikoff | July 24, 2009 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: domestic partnership, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Family Action

The Wisconsin Family Action has filed a suit to block implementation of the Wisconsin domestic partnership law. This is no surprise. In a post two weeks ago, I argued that a more inclusive registry would have actually made such a challenge less likely to succeed. Wisconsin limited the registry to same-sex couples who are not blood relatives closer than second cousins, who live together, and who are not married or in a DP with someone else. A registry for any two interdependent people living together would have made it harder to argue that it is violating the state's defense of marriage act which says "a legal status identical or substantially similiar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."

The suit was filed in the state's Supreme Court. Assuming this procedure is permissible in Wisconsin (figuring out state court jurisdiction rules can be complex -- such a suit would have to start in a trial court in many other states), it means a relatively quick resolution of the question.

Unsurprisingly, the Alliance Defense Fund is representing Wisconsin Family Action.

I'm rooting for our team, of course, but I do think it's an example of a focus on marriage-like same-sex couples blinding advocates to a better approach.


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There's no reason to just be focusing on same-sex couples. If we can include more people, then why not?