Dane County Board Continues Support of Domestic Partnership
October 07, 2011
Supervisor Scott McDonell 279-6984 Supervisor Chuck Erickson 212-8753
Last night, the Dane County Board of Supervisors reinforced its support for same sex couples to register as domestic partners. The 2009 state Domestic Partner Registry has been under legal challenge, and although it was upheld as constitutional in Dane County court, the law is now being challenged in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. The County Board has directed its Corporation Counsel to file a friend of the court brief supporting the constitutionality of the law in the Appeals Court.
“Dane County has a long history of supporting the rights of same sex couples; in fact, the county created its own domestic partnership registry a year before the state acted,” County Board Chair Scott McDonell said. “However, if the state law is found to be unconstitutional, not only would it affect couples throughout the state, but Dane County would likely be unable to re-establish its registry for same sex partnerships. We don’t want to see this happen” he added.
The Wisconsin Attorney General has refused to defend the Domestic Partner Registry from the constitutional challenge. Further, the Governor fired the law firm handling the case and also refused to defend the constitutionality of the law. This leaves no governmental body to defend the state law.
“I am proud that Dane County government is willing to step in and represent the rights of Wisconsin lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens statewide,” said County Board Supervisor Chuck Erickson. “We're fortunate that Dane County has the expertise to step in and fill this void where our state government has failed to act,” he added.
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