UPDATE: Same-sex marriage advocates make their case in federal court

UPDATED Monday, August 4, 2014 -- 1:50 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Civil right advocates are telling a federal appeals court that Wisconsin's gay marriage ban denies same-sex couples legal protections and serves no rational government purpose.

The American Civil Liberties Union made the arguments in a brief filed with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday. That court is weighing whether to uphold a June ruling from U.S. District Judge Barbra Crabb that found the ban is unconstitutional.

More than 500 same-sex couples married in Wisconsin in the week between Crabb's decision and her order putting marriages on hold pending the state's appeal.

State attorneys filed a brief last month with the court arguing there's no fundamental right to gay marriage. The court has combined the case with a similar appeal in Indiana.

Oral arguments are scheduled for Aug. 26.

Copyright Associated Press 2014

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UPDATED Thursday, July 31, 2014 --- 8:00 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld as constitutional a 2009 law creating a domestic partner registry that provides limited benefits to same-sex couples.

Thursday's ruling keeps the registry active but is likely to be overshadowed by a pending gay marriage case. A federal judge declared Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional last month, and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals plans to hear arguments in the state's appeal on Aug. 26.

Thursday's decision comes in a lawsuit filed by Julaine Appling, the head of the conservative group Wisconsin Family Action. Appling claimed the registry violated the state's gay marriage ban.

Both Gov. Scott Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen refused to defend the law, which they also said violated the state constitution.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, October 23, 2013 --- 3:56 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Conservative attorneys are trying to persuade the Wisconsin Supreme Court to wipe out the state's domestic partner registry.

Members of the conservative group Wisconsin Family Action filed a lawsuit in 2010 alleging the registry violates a 2006 state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage or anything substantially similar. The registry grants same-sex couples a host of legal rights.

Austin Nimocks is an attorney for the group. He told the justices during oral arguments Wednesday the qualifications to get married and get on the registry are substantially similar and the registry mimics a married relationship.

Christopher Clark, an attorney for Fair Wisconsin, the state's largest gay rights group, counters the registry doesn't come close to marriage. He says marriage is a civil contract that comes with obligations that the registry doesn't require.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, October 23, 2013 --- 5:50 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court considers a challenge to the state's domestic partner registry.

The high court is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday.

The conservative group Wisconsin Family Action filed a lawsuit in 2010 alleging the registry violates a 2006 state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage or anything substantially similar. The registry grants same-sex couples a host of legal rights.

A state appeals court upheld the registry last year, noting married heterosexual couples enjoy a number of rights registrants don't.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED: Sunday, October 20, 2013 --- 6:09 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to hear arguments this week on whether the state's domestic partner registry is unconstitutional.

The registry grants same-sex couples a host of legal rights. Members of the conservative group Wisconsin Family Action filed a lawsuit in 2010 alleging the registry violates a 2006 state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage or anything substantially similar.

A state appeals court upheld the registry last year, noting married couples enjoy a number of rights registrants don't.

The court is expected to hear oral arguments on Wednesday afternoon.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED: Friday, December 21, 2012 --- 9:15 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state appeals court has ruled Wisconsin's domestic partner registry is constitutional.

The 4th District Court of Appeals said in an opinion released Friday that the domestic partnership law does not violate the marriage amendment.

Democratic lawmakers created the registry in 2009. It grants same-sex couples a host of legal rights, including the right to visit each other in hospitals and make end-of-life decisions for one another.

Members of the Conservative Group Wisconsin Family Action filed a lawsuit two years ago alleging the registry violates the Wisconsin Constitution's ban on gay marriage. A Madison judge ruled last year the registry was legal.

Copyright 2012: Associated Press
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POSTED: Thursday, December 20, 2012 --- 4:40 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state appeals court is expected to rule on whether Wisconsin's domestic partnership registry violates the state constitution's ban on gay marriage.

The registry was created under a 2009 law. It grants same-sex couples a host of legal rights such as the rights to visit each other in hospitals and make end-of-life decisions.

The conservative group Wisconsin Family Action has challenged the registry, saying it violates the Wisconsin Constitution's ban on gay marriage. A Madison judge ruled last year the registry was constitutional.

Wisconsin Family Action appealed and the 4th District Court of Appeals sent the case directly to the state Supreme Court, but the high court refused to hear it and kicked it back to the appellate court.

The court is scheduled to release its opinion Thursday morning.

Copyright 2012: Associated Press


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