Friday, August 28, 2009

More news from Wisconsin

I've written a lot recently in how the Bad Guys are attacking even Domestic Partnerships. (See here). In Wisconsin, they have a hate amendment, but recently they passed a domestic partnership policy that allows "dozens" of rights, you know, like hospital visitation?

Naturally the haters jumped in immediately with their anger that this was JUST LIKE MARRIAGE so they have filed suit against it. And the Republican WI Attorney General Van Hollen will not try to defend the law.

As reported by the LA Times
The governor blasted Van Hollen's decision, saying the law is defensible. He released a copy of a memo from University of Wisconsin law professor David Schwartz that found the law did not conflict with the marriage amendment.
The governor and lawmakers have expressed confidence that the law will be upheld since the legal benefits granted are a fraction of the more than 150 given to married couples.

Registering will make it easier for same-sex couples to complete legal transactions like transferring property and executing wills and allow partners to obtain health insurance through employers that extend coverage to domestic partners.

Partners also will be guaranteed the right to visit each other in hospitals and care facilities, make end-of-life-decisons and take off work under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for each other. They will not have the right to jointly file taxes, among others.

The nonpartisan Legislative Council concluded the law should survive a legal challenge because it does not give "comprehensive, core aspects of the legal status of marriage to same-sex couples." Those include the ability to divorce and to share marital property.
Yeah, dangerous stuff there--visiting partners! Insurance benefits!

To quote again that US News article, the Christian Conservatives have to fight the fact that a majority of Americans believe their should be some benefits for same sex couples
I'm not saying religious conservatives are acting purely politically—many do believe that providing benefits to gay couples is a sneaky way of legalizing gay unions. But given those poll numbers, it also makes political sense for religious conservatives to try to reframe the benefits issue as a gay marriage issue.

Gay rights advocates, meanwhile, see benefits and gay marriage as much different issues, since extending some benefits to gay partners still excludes key benefits of marriage.
We must recognize that it isn't marriage these people oppose. They oppose any recognition or respect for gay couples and gay families. Call it what it is: bigotry, pure and simple.

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