Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Appling: Domestic Partner Benefits And Redefining Marriage

First, she leads a campaign which gets Wisconsin on the Ban Gay Marriage Bandwagon with a confusing, vaguely worded amendment. Now she's speaking out against domestic partner benefits to state employees. She believes it is the state's attempt to redefine marriage and that local government employees are essentially state employees.

Umm.. right.

Is her next step to declare domestic partner benefits unconstitutional because of the amendment?

And why am I giving this woman -- who rumor has it happens to be unmarried and lives with a female roommate of many, many years -- any energy anyway?

You decide. Listen to the story here. Be sure to have RealPlayer installed.

From the NPR web site:

Court Holds Hearing for Same Sex Partner Rights
By Gil Halsted
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
(MADISON) The State Supreme Court will hear arguments today (W) in a lawsuit demanding same-sex domestic partner benefits for state employees.

A group of cities, villages and school boards are trying to intervene in an ACLU lawsuit filed two years ago on behalf of six lesbian state employees. The suit claims the state is violating the Wisconsin Constitution’s equal protection clause by denying health care benefits for the same-sex partners of the employees.

Julaine Appling of the Family Research Council of Wisconsin says although the suit targets state employees, local governments have a legitimate concern about its outcome. She says every employee of a local municipality in this is also ultimately a state employee, and she says she doesn’t think any local municipality wants to have the state make a determination about what kind of benefits they are going to pay or not pay.

Appling, who led the successful campaign for the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Wisconsin says the ACLU lawsuit is an effort to redefine marriage. But ACLU attorney Larry Depuis disagrees. He says providing of domestic partner benefits doesn’t constitute marriage and he notes that all of the sponsors of the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage repeatedly said it was not intended to deny domestic partner benefits to government employees.

That issue isn’t before the court this week; instead, the Justices will hear arguments for and against allowing local governments to intervene in the lawsuit.

State legislators could play a role in the final outcome of the lawsuit. Domestic partner benefits for state employees is one of the many issues still in play in the state budget impasse. Money for the benefits is in the Democratic version of the budget, but not in the Republican one.

No comments:

Tornado Rainbow Triangle