WFA Responds: WI Supreme Court Recognizes Uniqueness of Marriage

State High Court Says Same-Sex Domestic Partnerships Not Like Marriage

Today, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the Badger State’s domestic partnership registry as “constitutional” in a landmark decision that defied the will of Wisconsin’s voters.

Wisconsin Family Action president, Julaine Appling, is not discouraged, though, as the ruling defined what we already know to be true – marriage is a unique institution and remains so in the state of Wisconsin.

Read the full press release from WFA below:

MADISON— Today the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the same-sex-only, statewide domestic partnership enacted by Governor Doyle through the state budget in 2009, does not violate the Marriage Protection Amendment approved by the voters in 2006. This is in spite of the fact that the Amendment prohibits any “legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals.”

“While we are disappointed that the Wisconsin Supreme Court did not agree with us, what’s important is that marriage remains between one man and one woman in Wisconsin and that even in this ruling, the court recognized that marriage is unique and nothing like relationships formed by same-sex couples,” said Julaine Appling, one of the plaintiffs in the case and president of Wisconsin Family Action.

Many years ago (1959) the legislature wrote the following statement into Wisconsin law. Marriage is the institution that is the foundation of the family and of society. Its stability is basic to morality and civilization, and of vital interest to society and the state. . . . . Under the laws of this state, marriage is a legal relationship between 2 equal persons, a husband and wife, who owe to each other mutual responsibility and support. (Wis Stats 765.001(2))

Plaintiffs led the effort to ratify and defend Wisconsin’s Marriage Amendment to protect that institution. Our concern was that Ch. 770 creates a relationship that is substantially like marriage and dilutes its public meaning and significance.

Appling noted, “Although the court today ruled against us, it also recognized that the Marriage Amendment affirms what the legislature recognized long ago. Marriage is a unique relationship between one man and one woman, and it is the only relationship so indispensable to children and society that when husband and wife agree to marry, they may not unilaterally end that relationship. The state itself will step in and enforce duties of mutual obligation and support.”

Wisconsin Family Action will continue defending Wisconsin law and the uniqueness of marriage between one man and one woman.

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