To hear Governor Doyle and people such as Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison), an open and activist homosexual, tell it, Wisconsin has thousands and thousands of homosexual “couples” who are being, as they see it, deprived of their “rights.” And that’s why Doyle (in addition to the payback he owes the pro-homosexual group Fair Wisconsin for their help in getting him re-elected in 2006) has teamed up with his pro-homosexual buddies and proposed a statewide same-sex domestic partnership registry, along with some 40+ benefits that up to now have been reserved for legally married couples. Doyle said as much in the few lines he devoted to this provision and his health-care for domestic partners (same-sex or hetero) of state employees.
Never mind that his domestic partnership registry is likely unconstitutional because of the marriage protection amendment nearly 60% of Wisconsin voters passed in November 2006. Never mind that the number of people in Wisconsin who would qualify for the registry is unbelievably small–very vocal, very well organized, very well funded, and very determined to redefine marriage but nevertheless, very small.
The most recent reliable numbers seem to be from 2005. Wisconsin’s total population that year was 5,581,980. The number of people self-describing as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered was 161,000, rounded up. That means that less than 3% of the population could even remotely be affected (2.88% to be precise). Of that total “gay” population, 14,894 were “couples,” which is 19% of the total homosexual population, or .5% of Wisconsin’s total population. These numbers by the way, track with the other states.
Contrast these figures with over 1.1 million married couples in Wisconsin (2000 census), which is 39% of the state’s total (all ages) population. This percentage increases to 55% of the 18 and over population. (Using 2000 census data for marriages and 2005 numbers for homosexual relationships more than likely gives the benefit of the doubt to the latter.)
The governor and others have some ‘splaining to do about proposing marriage-like benefits for, at best, 3% of the state’s population–most of whom aren’t even identifying as “couples.” Instead of creating a legal status for these few, the governor ought to be looking at ways to strengthen marriages–the backbone of this state.