Marriage by another name?

Let’s take a look at the statewide same-sex domestic partner registry proposed in the governor’s budget for the next two years and a few of our concerns with it.

1.    The governor’s proposed statewide domestic partner registry in the state budget is very possibly unconstitutional because of its intent—to create a “legal status” that is very marriage-like (see page 483 of the bill–AB75)—and in its sweep—giving same-sex domestic partnerships (page 67) nearly 50% of the benefits (between 45 to 60 benefits) Wisconsin currently gives to married couples.
Throughout the bill, the term “domestic partner” is used in the same context as ‘spouse.’ It appears the intent is to approximate marriage, to test what ‘identical or substantially similar to marriage’ means in Wisconsin’s marriage protection amendment.
2.    The statewide domestic partner registry is an “unfunded” mandate for counties, requiring them to register domestic partnerships and report them to the state.
3.    The benefits the state awards to married couples are not rights or protections; they are benefits only. The state uses the benefits to reward and encourage married couples for the benefits marriages give to the state: providing a legal, social and economic framework for the rearing of children by a mother and father—the situation social science data as well as common sense inform us is the best possible situation for positive childhood development. The data also confirms that traditional marriage is the best possible situation for the health, satisfaction and affluence of a man or a woman.  Stable, satisfied, self-sufficient families are the bedrock of society and the greatest contributors to society—thus the benefits.
4.    This provision is unnecessary.  The benefits proposed in the budget for same-sex domestic partners are all available through legal means to anyone and typically even legally married couples retain lawyers or seek legal counsel when they obtain them.(i.e. Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, etc.).

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3 comments on “Marriage by another name?

  1. Michele says:

    You are not telling the truth. First, the authors of the amendment explicitly stated that it did not bar the opportunity to put together a package of rights and benefits. This view was repeated by people like Julaine Appling, and dozens of others who supported the amendment.

    Second, this is not an “unfunded mandate.” The bill requires domestic partners to pay a fee, which more than cpovers the cost of adminitration. It is likely a financial benefit to counties.

    Third, social science evidence is clear that children do better in two parent homes, INCLUDING same sex homes. These folks never have “accidental” children. They plan carefully and care for their children.

    Fourth, the provision is not only necessary, it is fair (though not fair enough). Marriage confers over 1100 rights in federal law, and over 200 in state law. This legislation includes 40 protections, somne are very minor (e.g., related to registering boats) and some are very important (hospital visitation and inheritance rights).

    It is painful to watch all of the same people who convinced Wisconsin voters that the amendment was not going to hurt real families now come around and lie again. By the way, over 60% of Wisconsin voters support this legislation. And when they find out the truth about it, rather than the lies that are constantly beiong told, even more people support it.

    Stop hating!

  2. […] governor wants a marriage-like statewide same-sex domestic partnership registry implemented and he wants to give those who register some 40-50 benefits that have up to now been […]

  3. […] Establishment of Domestic Partnership and Related Rights and Benefits, (establishing same-sex domestic partner registries at the county level statewide, click here for more analysis). […]

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