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Copyright 2014 by Attorney Carlos Gamino
​Is that legal, though?

The Dissolution of Domestic Partnership Benefits

It would be legal to end the registry system that keeps track of people who have filed for domestic partnership benefits. 

From the time the law allowing people in domestic partnerships took effect in 2009, a total of 2,531 people across the state have filed for those benefits. That poses a problem for lawmakers because the people listed in the registry would suddenly find themselves bereft of benefits – unless, of course, they chose to legally marry instead.

The current proposal wouldn’t cancel any registered domestic partnerships, but it would certainly prevent anyone else from registering. It’s also tied into the state budget, but some legislators say that the marriage registry should be evaluated separately from important financial decisions that affect the entire state.

The benefits that confer to one domestic partner from another, under the current provisions, include:
  • Retirement benefits (including military retirement and separation benefits)
  • Health insurance (including COBRA coverage after a terminated domestic partnership)
  • Life insurance
  • Disability benefits
  • The use of State of Wisconsin Sick Leave Credits by a surviving partner
  • Long-Term Care Programs from state or university healthcare facilities

Assembly members are also proposing to remove the language that bans same-sex marriage from the state Constitution. However, in light of the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision, the ban is unenforceable because the Supreme Court overrides any definitions of marriage made by states. Many critics of removing the language say that those lawmakers are simply trying to make a “political point.”

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts here or on Twitter – I’d love to hear your opinion on whether the state of Wisconsin should phase out the domestic partnership registry and the benefits applicants are entitled to receive.

Carlos Gamino

Is Wisconsin Phasing Out Domestic Partner Benefits - Attorney Carlos Gamino
​By Carlos Gamino

Now that the Supreme Court has made its ruling on same-sex marriage some state lawmakers are thinking about phasing out the system we have in place of domestic partner benefits.
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

Is Wisconsin Phasing Out Domestic Partner Benefits?

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