Same-sex partnerships challenged in Wisconsin Supreme Court
MADISON - A conservative group is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to strike down the law that gives select privileges to gay couples.
The fight is over just how close same-sex domestic partnerships come to one-man, one-woman marriages as defined in the state constitution.
“This case is not about benefits. The case is rather about Chapter 770, mimicking marriage’s blueprint,” argued Austin Nimocks, an attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund.
Defenders of domestic partnerships contend gay couples have nowhere near the benefits of couples in traditional marriages.
“The legal security of having those protections would evaporate if this were to be struck down,” argued Chris Clark of Lamda Legal Defense and Education.
Wisconsin voters passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The state constitution bans gay marriage.
“People of Wisconsin are fundamentally people of strong traditional values,” said Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling. “They understand that kids fundamentally need a mom and a dad, that marriage is historically between a man and woman.”
Same-sex couples fear what they consider to be limited benefits are in jeopardy.
“The legal protections we get through domestic partnerships, particularly hospital visits because Kathy has a lot of health issues,” said Ann Kendzierski of Appleton.
“To lose any of the benefits where we have access to each other would kill me,” said Janice Czyscon of Madison.
It could be months for the state supreme court releases its decision on whether or not same-sex domestic partnership privileges are constitutional.