the Supreme Court upheld the state's domestic partner registry which gives same-sex couples about 40-percent of the legal benefits of married couples.
It was a defeat for the Wisconsin Family Action group, which tried unsuccessfully to get the justices to strike down the registry just before it came into existence in 2009. The group bypassed the lower courts, saying the registry went against the state's previous constitutional ban on gay marriage. The justices told Family Action to get in line and follow the normal procedure -- which it did. Former Governor Jim Doyle and his majority Democrats at the time said the registry provides fairness for gay couples. It provides things like hospital visitation rights and various end-of-life decisions to about 23-hundred couples which have applied. When the G-O-P took over in 2011, it took the pro-family side -- and the Fair Wisconsin group intervened to defend the registry. Now, the registry's future might be a moot point, if the federal courts eventually throw out the state's ban on gay marriage. Federal Judge Barbara Crabb tossed it out in June, and the state's now appealing that move.