MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld as constitutional a 2009 law creating a domestic partner registry that provides limited benefits to same-sex couples.
Thursday’s ruling keeps the registry active but is likely to be overshadowed by a pending gay marriage case. A federal judge declared Wisconsin’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional last month, and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals plans to hear arguments in the state’s appeal on Aug. 26.
Thursday’s decision comes in a lawsuit filed by Julaine Appling, the head of the conservative group Wisconsin Family Action. Appling claimed the registry violated the state’s gay marriage ban.
Both Gov. Scott Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen refused to defend the law, which they also said violated the state constitution.