In filing its challenge to Wisconsin's
domestic partnership law, a group opposed to gay rights claims it's
too similar to marriage.
“The same-sex only, statewide
domestic partnership registry mimics marriage,” Julaine Appling,
executive director of Wisconsin
Family Action (WFA), told Wisconsin Radio Network.
The case lists four WFA board members
as plaintiffs and claims they have been harmed because their tax
revenues are being used to fund the registry.
“Plaintiffs and other Wisconsin
taxpayers are damaged and injured by Defendants' [the state]
expenditure of tax revenues for the implementation and administration
of the unconstitutional and illegal domestic-partnership registry,
registration system, and Plaintiffs have standing to assert this
The group is making good on a promise
it made last year to refile its case in a lower court after the
Wisconsin Supreme Court refused to block the law's start.
Wisconsin became the first state with a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to recognize the
unions of gay and lesbian couples with domestic partnerships when it
approved the law. Registering with the state grants gay and lesbian
couples access to 43 rights, most of which center around estate
planning and hospital visitation issues.
Governor Jim Doyle, a Democrat,
strongly backed passage of the registry.
“The governor and his liberal cohorts
created a legal status that is substantially similar to that of
marriage,” Appling added.
Wisconsin's gay marriage ban “clearly
says that a relationship or a legal status … substantially similar
to marriage is not legal in this state,” she claimed.
WFA had also supported passage of the
anti-gay marriage amendment as the Family Research Institute. It is
being represented by the Christian-based Alliance Defense Fund (ADF).
ADF lawyers are also defending California's gay marriage ban,
Proposition 8, in federal court.