Friday, June 5, 2009

Limited Domestic Partner Benefits and Protections In WI: Proposals Advance Despite Constitutional Ban on "Substantially Similar" Domestc Partnerships

06/05/09 Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee Blog:

The Committee approved two proposals. One of these would extend medical insurance and retirement benefits to domestic partners of state employees. The other would "allows some protections for domestic partners such as hospital visitation and end-of-life decisions." The Committee also issued a policy statement with a critical finding about the state constitution, which bans official recognition of same-sex relationships that are "substantially similar" to marriage:

The Legislature further finds that the legal status of domestic partnership, as established in this chapter, is not substantially similar to that of marriage. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as inconsistent with, or a violation of, article XIII, section 13, of the Wisconsin Constitution.

Over the long-term, this development in Wisconsin - placed in the context of recent court decisions and marriage equality laws - strikes me as important enough to weaken public support for the state's constitutional bans on marriage and more substantive domestic partnerships.

No comments:

Commentators, Subjects and Cases