An employee of the city of Green Bay is asking for benefits for his gay partner, the Green Bay Press Gazette reported.

David Fowles, who drives a truck for the city's Public Works Department, has asked the city to honor his domestic partnership and include his partner in city-provided health and dental insurance plans, as it does for the spouses of heterosexual couples.

“It's more of a basic right,” Fowles, who's worked for the city for nearly 30 years, said. “I think it should be out there for everybody.”

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 creation of the registry last year.

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 law is being challenged by the anti-gay rights group Wisconsin Family Action (WFA), whose members claim it's too similar to marriage.

“The same-sex only, statewide domestic partnership registry mimics marriage,” Julaine Appling, executive director of WFA, told Wisconsin Radio Network.

In its lawsuit, the group alleges its plaintiffs and other Wisconsin taxpayers are harmed by the costs associated with implementing the registry.

Other cities in the state, including Milwaukee and Madison, are honoring the registry and offering their gay employees access to equal benefits.

Green Bay City Council is looking into the request.