Saturday, August 29, 2009

Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel faults state attorney general's decision not to defend new domestic registry law in lawsuit

08/27/09 Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

Last week, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced his decision not to defend the state's new domestic registry law in Appling v. Doyle (Wis. Supreme Court Case No. 2009AP001860). The law extends up to just 40 of over 150 marrital benefits. The plaintiff, Wisconsin Family Action, claims that it violates Art. XIII, Sec. 13, which bans same-sex marriage and legal status for relationships "identical or substantially similar to marriage." This constitutional amendment was adopted in the 2006 election. On August 8th, the Wisconsin State Journal reported that in the runup to the election, Wisconsin Family Action told the press that the amendment would not prohibit the kind of domestic registries that the law provides.

In this editorial, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel objects to Van Hollen's decision not to defend the law. The editors contend that it does not violate the letter of the constitutional amendment, and that voters did not intend to deny same-sex couples the law's benefits. They also suggest that Van Hollen has elevated politics above principle, because he may run for governor.

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