Wisconsin’s New Domestic Partnership Law

This law took effect August 3, 2009. It allows inheritance rights if one partner dies without a will, family medical leave, and hospital visitation rights, among other things. However, to register as a domestic partner in Wisconsin you must: Be 18 years of age, have shared a common residence for at least 30 days, not be nearer next of kin than second cousins, not be married or in another domestic partnership, and be a member of the same sex.

So once again, we have another domestic partnership law that does not include opposite sex unmarried couples! First, it is discriminatory and second, doesn’t it help destroy the “it’s just a stepping stone to gay marriage” argument that the Christian Right has when you open it up to opposite sex couples?


2 responses to “Wisconsin’s New Domestic Partnership Law

  1. So happy first sentence. So depressed second sentence. Poser Wisconsin!

  2. I sent your post to my friend H in Wisconsin, who has been in a 7-year relationship with her boyfriend. They are living together but don’t want to get married. They are having a baby girl. At the same time, her father is in hospice and her stepmom is literally insane. So she obviously has a lot of extra time and emotional energy to go lawyer-surfing and figure out what her and her boyfriend’s rights as an unmarried couple are. Here is what H had to say:

    This sucks. This is exactly what we are looking for – some kind of legal one-stop shopping that would give us the rights we need to protect ourselves and our growing family if the worst should happen, without all the strings and religious overtones of marriage. Seriously, I got a little overwhelmed last week and asked B if we couldn’t just get married and then not admit to it (even to ourselves). I don’t want the pressure of marriage and I like telling people that B is my boyfriend/domestic partner and watching their reactions.

    Some perverse side of me actually likes that it bothers some people so much. People that care so much about things like marriage and what goes on in somebody else’s bedroom deserve to be bothered. I take pride in the fact that we can do all of this and have a good relationship without being married.

    But let’s face it, we aren’t Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. We aren’t each independently wealthy and I don’t know if we will have the time to meet with lawyers to straighten all of this out before the baby comes.

    Sometimes I just sit and think that paying the money and getting the marriage certificate might be the easy way out and I am not above taking the easy way out of anything right now in my life.


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