Appling v. Doyle – A Legal Challenge to Gov Doyle’s Same-Sex Domestic Partnership Registry

This morning WFC’s sister organization, Wisconsin Family Action (WFA) filed a petition for an original action with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, through their attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund and ADF-allied attorneys Richard Esenberg and Michael Dean of First Freedoms Foundation, asking for a permanent injunction against the statewide, same-sex domestic partnership registry authored by Gov. Doyle in the state budget.

WFA’s press release explains that the petitioners, WFA board members Julaine Appling, Jerry Hiller and E. Lee Webster, and their attorneys believe the registry violates the Wisconsin Marriage Protection Amendment, approved by 1.2 million Wisconsin voters in November, 2006 (59.4% to 41.6%).

Appling has described the marriage-like registry as an end-run around the Marriage Protection Amendment and an assault on the people, the state constitution, the institution of marriage and the democratic process.  Like many of the unnecessary and unneeded items in the 2010-11 state budget, the registry is one of Doyle’s political pay-back moves.  It’s general knowledge that Doyle and Co. used the marriage amendment referendum in 2006 to mobilize liberal voters and solidfy Doyle’s reelection.

Fair Wisconsin, the statewide group that organized against the amendment, boasts that they were deeply involved with the governor and the legislature in the creation and passage of the same-sex domestic partnership registry and actually admits the registry creates a “legal status.”

WFA’s petition contends the legal status is substantially similar to that of marriage and is therefore in violation of the amendment, because the requirements and process for obtaining a domestic partnership certificate are virtually identical to those for obtaining a marriage license–even down to the same fees.

WFA now waits to find out if the Court will accept the original action petition–and grant their request for a permanent injunction and a declaration that the registry is unconstitutional.

Click here to access WFA’s press release, FAQ and additional related material.