In the aftermath of same-sex marriage cases in the Supreme Court, and the legalization of same-sex marriage across the country, domestic partnerships have taken a bit of a back seat to legal marriage in most states. While the ability of couples of all sexual orientations to be married is certainly an accomplishment to be celebrated, a domestic partnership offers many unique benefits that should not be overlooked.
While Wisconsin has offered domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples since the adoption of a domestic partnership registry in 2009, the legal benefits of this status have recently come to a close. Under legislation passed in 2017, Wisconsin ended its domestic partnership registration in April 2018, changing the landscape of benefits available to same-sex couples.
Same-sex marriage and a Wisconsin domestic partnership have the same goal of allowing recognized legal status for same-sex couples and conferring upon them many of the benefits held by couples in heterosexual marriages, but the status differed in several key ways, and the loss of domestic partnership registration will have important effects down the road.