Friday, August 20, 2010

Brody's Notes... Wisconsin Family Action Group Sues: Wants State's Domestic Partnership Registry Declared Unconstitutional

By Brody Levesque (Washington DC) AUG 20 | Reporter Jason Stein of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel newspaper is reporting that the Wisconsin Family Action group has filed a second lawsuit in an attempt to have Wisconsin's Supreme Court declare the state's domestic partner registry unconstitutional.  Stein wrote, in his article published Wednesday:
"Our system of government serves no purpose if our elected officials can completely and capriciously ignore the will of the people with impunity," said Julaine Appling, the president of Family Action and one of the plaintiffs. "A reasonable person observing this registry would easily conclude that it is intended to mirror marriage."
Wisconsin voters had approved a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2006. The issue came into focus again in 2009 when Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle and the state's legislature approved the registry as part of a budget deal worked out; which gave same-sex couples some, but not all of the benefits married couples receive, including allowing domestic partners to take family and medical leave to care for a seriously ill partner, make end-of-life decisions, and have hospital visitation rights.

Wisconsin Family Action had sued in June of 2009 sued to block the registry claiming that the process and fees were the same as applying for a marriage licence. The Supreme Court had dismissed that lawsuit last November without comment.