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Former City of Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz

Former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's Blog


A Good Day & A Great Day to Come

August 3, 2009 3:07 PM

Today is a good day in Wisconsin, but I'm looking forward to a great day in the future. Today is the first day that same sex partners can register to receive benefits under the new domestic partner law that passed as part of the state budget. To register, people just need to fill out a form at the Dane County Clerk's Office.

For city employees this is an especially welcome change. Because the city is part of the state health insurance pool and the state didn't previously recognize same sex couples, the city couldn't legally provide the exact same benefits that we could for married couples. Instead, we had to go through an awkward reimbursement process that still didn't quite provide the same benefits as those provided to married couples. With this change at the state level, we can now provide the exact same benefits.

Unfortunately, there is a legal challenge to the new law brought to us by the same folks who pushed for the so called "marriage amendment" which wrote open discrimination into our Wisconsin state constitution. I'm reasonably confident that this legal challenge will be dismissed.

And I look forward to the day when same sex marriage is legal in Wisconsin. While today's change is welcome and long overdue, it still falls short of the recognition that full marriage gives to couples. I believe that it's inevitable that the offensive discrimination now written into our state constitution will be overturned in short order. Now, that will be a great day.



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