Wisconsin Same-Sex Couples Sign Up as Domestic Partners

August 3, 2009 - 1:53 PM
Same-sex couples in Wisconsin have started signing up for the state's new domestic partnership registry.

Jen, left, and Rose Wehrli-Mead affirm that their statements are true, as they apply for domestic partnership at the county clerk's office at the Racine County Courthouse, Monday, Aug. 3, 2009 in Racine, Wis. They have been together eight years. This was the first day for such applications in Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Journal Times, Mark Hertzberg)

Madison, Wis. (AP) - Same-sex couples in Wisconsin have started signing up for the state's new domestic partnership registry.
 
Monday was their first chance to sign up and obtain dozens of the same legal protections as spouses.
 
Fifty-six-year-old Janice Czyscon and her partner of 29 years, 57-year-old Crystal Hyslop, arrived at the Dane County offices in Madison at 5:12 a.m. and waited in the rain until the doors opened.
 
Wisconsin is the first Midwestern state to enact protections for same-sex couples through legislation. Gov. Jim Doyle proposed the plan, and the Democratic-controlled Legislature approved it in the state budget.
 
Some who want the law invalidated say it conflicts with the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage.