Despite an ongoing challenge, a
gay-inclusive domestic partner law starts Monday in Wisconsin.
Officials say that after a month of
training, county clerks are prepared to handle large crowds if
“It's another normal work day and we
will take it as it appears and handle the situation,” Nancy
Christensen, an Outagamie County clerk, told ABC affiliate WBAY.
“Just give us patience if you have to wait in line and we'll
process everybody through.”
Governor Jim Doyle, a Democrat,
proposed the registry in his biannual state budget approved by
lawmakers. Registering gives gay and lesbian couples access to 43
rights, most of which center around estate planning and hospital
The group Wisconsin Family Action (WFA)
and the Christian-based Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) are challenging
the registry, arguing that is it prohibited by the state's
constitutional ban on gay marriage approved by voters in 2006. WFA
supported the passage of the anti-gay marriage amendment as the
Family Research Institute.
“Elected officials should never pass
laws that violate the will of Wisconsin voters who legitimately amend
the state constitution in a fair election,” Julaine Appling,
president of WFA and lead petitioner in the lawsuit, said in a
statement. “This new domestic partnership scheme is a sneaky
assault on marriage from those who are determined to redefine
marriage in Wisconsin.”
The groups asked the Wisconsin Supreme
Court to issue a permanent injunction against the registry last week
but the court has yet to respond.
Governor Doyle has defended the
registry, saying the law does not run afoul of the state
constitution, and indicated that he thinks Appling and her group have
been deceptive in their public statements.
“The lawyers have all assure me that
this is not a marriage, but I think most people agree that its a
statement of some basic rights that most people in Wisconsin think
should be protected,” he told Wisconsin Radio Network.
“These are people, who by the way,
when the Wisconsin constitutional amendment was passed made repeated
public statements saying that this would not preclude domestic
partnership legislation. So now, apparently, they're singing a