Excellent news to report from Wisconsin. A court has ruled the state's domestic partnership registry are constitutional and do not violate the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
That's because the DP affords only minimal protection and "far fewer rights" than those available to married heterosexual couples, according to the ruling by Dane County Circuit Judge Daniel Moeser reported by AP.
Moeser ruled that the 2009 law does not create a legal status for partners that is identical or substantially similar to that of marriage and therefore it does not violate the constitutional ban approved by voters in 2006. "The state does not recognize domestic partnership in a way that even remotely resembles how the state recognizes marriage," Moeser said in the ruling. "Moreover, domestic partners’ have far fewer legal rights, duties, and liabilities in comparison to the legal rights, duties, and liabilities of spouses."
Wisconsin Family Action, the anti-gay group that brought the lawsuit, has vowed to appeal it "all the way to the state Supreme Court" if necessary.
About 1,700 couples are signed up for the DP Registry, according to Fair Wisconsin, which has hailed the court victory as a "great day for Wisconsin."
In May, the Tea Party-backed, anti-gay union-busting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker filed a motion seeking to allow the state to withdraw from defending the DP law because he believes it is unconstitutional. Walker fired the law firm that was defending the state's domestic partners law in March.