Does the Ban Prohibit Domestic Partner Benefits? "I Have No Doubt"

While making a case about how far reaching and extreme the ban is, we frequently argue that it will jeopardize existing domestic partner benefits. We point to lawsuits and rulings in other states. And we say the issue will undoubtedly end up in court.

Note we say “jeopardize.” That’s because we don’t claim to know in advance how any given court will rule.

There’s one organization, though, that’s a whole lot more certain.

Glen Lavy (the guy in the picture) is the Senior Council and V.P. of the Marriage Litigation Project over at the Alliance Defense Fund. When he was asked if the Wisconsin ban would prohibit domestic partner benefits for public employees, he responded:

“I have no doubt.”

So who’s this Alliance Defense Fund? And why does it matter?

The Alliance Defense Fund is the organization that would be first in line to bankroll lawsuits against Madison, Milwaukee, the La Crosse School District and others if this ban passes.

With an annual budget of $22 million, they send lawyers from coast to coast suing cities and states that recognize gay families. They're in on a Michigan lawsuit to keep "all government programs" from offering domestic partnership benefits, which, ADF argues, "undermine marriage." And after Ohio passed its ban, they started suing a university there too. Here's how they justify their actions:
Unfortunately, this program at Miami University [in Ohio] violates state law by creating a legal status for same-sex couples designed to mimic marriage. Granting special legal status [that phrase sound familiar?] to new-fangled nonmarital relationships is a state policy option recently rejected by the voters of Ohio.
Nor are Glen Lavy and the Alliance Defense Fund strangers to Wisconsin.

ADF is an organization that Julaine Appling refers to as "good friends," and that she recently told a reporter “will do everything they can to assist us in the cause, helping us with plans and how we do things.” And this is also the organization that ban author Mark Gundrum calls whenever he needs a helping hand.

The ties get deeper still. Glen Lavy is Gundrum’s co-author. Together with Waukesha attorney Michael Dean, the two wrote the article “Wisconsin Marriage Amendment: The Legal Necessity,” which they attempted to publish in the magazine, Wisconsin Law. (The article was rejected after some on the Wisconsin Bar Association's communication committee deemed it to be "political, not legal or informational.")

And what's more Glen Lavy will be in town this May, speaking at a $20 per head event sponsored by none other than the primary pro-ban organization, Appling's Family Research Institute.

When we tell voters that this ban seriously jeopardizes domestic partner benefits, Appling frequently responds by saying that it just ain't so. She says she's "certain courts will uphold domestic partner benefits."

Her "good friends," though, sure do know how to pull back the curtain on that one.

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