Wisconsin's Domestic Partnership Registry was declared constitutional June 20 by the Dane County Circuit Court Branch 11.
"It is clear," wrote Circuit Judge Daniel Moeser, "that Chapter 770 does not violate the Marriage Amendment because it does not create a legal status for domestic partners that is identical or substantially similar to that of marriage. The state does not recognize domestic partnership in a way that even remotely resembles how the state recognizes marriage. Moreover, domestic partners have far fewer legal rights, duties, and liabilities in comparison to the legal rights, duties, and liabilities of spouses."
Gov. Jim Doyle signed the domestic-partnership measure in June 2009, granting same-sex couples rights in areas such as hospital visitation and family medical leave.
Anti-gay activists filed suit against the law, arguing that it violated a state constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage and other legal unions of a "substantially similar" nature.