Utah Judge to Decide on Insurance for Domestic Partners

In 2004, Utahns passed an amendment similar to the one proposed here in Wisconsin. Now, a judge in Salt Lake City must decide whether the Mayor's executive order offering health insurance to employee's lesbian and gay unmarried partners is legal.

This is the first legal interpretation of the amendment which forbids domestic unions from being recognized as marriage.
To gain city benefits, partners must live together, have common financial obligations, not be related by blood and be in a "long-term committed relationship of mutual caring and support," according to the executive order.

"That's obviously mimicking marriage," Dale Schowengerdt, spokesman for the Alliance Defense Fund, told the court. "That's his [the mayor's] angle . . . equate spouses with domestic partners."

If the amendment passes in Wisconsin, judges will have to interpret the second sentence of the amendment which would ban anything substantially similar to marriage. Because the ban could roll back existing domestic partner policies in our state, many leaders have publicly stated their opposition to the ban including Madison Mayor Dave Ciezlewicz, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, The Milwaukee Common Council, and The Madison Common Council.




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