Wisconsin Gov. Backing Domestic Partner Benefits

Tue. November 11, 2003 12:00 AM by 365gay.com

Madison, Wisconsin - Just days after he vetoed a bill that would have toughened the state's ban on same-sex marriage Gov Jim Doyle is said to be pushing for health insurance for the domestic partners of gay state government workers.

"This is an issue the governor wants to make sure is on the table because it is the right thing to do," Karen Timberlake, the chief negotiator for Doyle in talks with state employee unions, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Timberlake told the newspaper the contract proposal was modeled after a domestic partner plan for the city of Madison.

It would require domestic partners to sign an affidavit attesting that they are in a committed relationship that is "both emotionally and financially interdependent ... not just roommates," Timberlake said.

She said a number of large businesses already offer insurance benefits to domestic partners, as do 10 other states, and the cost of the plan would be "very minimal".

Friday, Doyle vetoed a bill that would define marriage in Wisconsin as solely between one man and one woman. The state already has a law prohibiting same-sex marriage. Doyle called the legislation "mean-spirited."

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