In his biennial budget proposal Tuesday, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle announced the first Domestic Partnership protections proposed by any Midwestern U.S. state. The basic protections include hospital visitation rights and Family Medical Leave rights for same-sex domestic partners in committed relationships.
In a statement published and released to the media Tuesday night, the Executive Director of GLBTQ advocacy organization Fair Wisconsin, Glenn Carlson, commended Governor Doyle for including the protections in this year's budget proposal.
"This is an important step toward ensuring that someone in a committed relationship is able to care for his or her partner," Carson said in the release. "No one should ever have to worry about being blocked at their partner's hospital room door, or have to make the heartbreaking decision to quit their job in order to care for a seriously ill partner. This isn't about being gay or straight--it's about being decent."
Fair Wisconsin was one of 10 organizations included in the statement commending Doyle for the move.
Details of the proposed protections are still emerging, and must be introduced and debated by the Wisconsin State Assembly before they are passed into law.
Initial information indicates the requirements for inclusion in the domestic partnership protections, if enacted, will include specific stipulations that members of covered partnerships must be 18 years of age, that the partners are only in one domestic partnership, and that counties will administer documentation including signed statements to certify the partnerships.