If you live up Wisconsin way, mark your calenders for August 3rd; it's gonna get crazy busy up there, or so they say.
That's the day same-sex couples all across the state will be able to take advantage of a historic piece of legislation that was signed into law this past Monday by Governor Jim Doyle that recognizes domestic partnerships in Wisconsin.
And it isn't simply "Hi there, we recognize you." There are dozens of legal protections that were previously available only to those who formed an opposite sex marriage, including the right to take family leave to care for a sick or dying partner, the ability to access a partner's medical records and the right to inherit a partner's property. In addition, Governor Doyle approved granting health care benefits to the same-sex partners of state employees.
Way to go, Governor!
Madison resident Dan Ross, who has been in a committed relationship with his partner for 17 years, says the cost--$115, which is the same price as an opposite sex marriage license--is a small price to pay for the assurances it will provide, particularly with inheritance issues.
The law makes Wisconsin the first state with a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage to also legally recognize domestic partnerships; so the bad seems to have brought about the good, in this case. People are saying that the campaign to bring about the marriage equality ban strengthened the fight for the domestic partnership bill. It didn't hurt that the state Assembly and Senate were both controlled by Democrats for the first time in 14 years.
Now, Wosconsin, you've taken this one small step for man, and man, or womena nd woman, why don't you prepare to take that giant leap for mankind and get to work on marriage equality?