Partner Benefits Okay in Wisconsin Despite Amendment

By: ANDY HUMM |While the voters of Wisconsin just enacted a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and prohibiting recognition of a “legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals,” the outgoing state attorney general, Peg Lautenschlager, issued an advisory opinion before vacating her office that the amendment does not bar public or private employers from offering domestic partner benefits, the Capital Times of Madison reported. She also wrote that it does not invalidate laws that prohibit discrimination against domestic partners.

Democrat Lautenschlager was replaced on January 3 by Republican J.B. Van Hollen, a supporter of the amendment. He did not comment on her opinion, though traditionally attorneys general do not undo the advisories of their predecessors, the Capital Times wrote.