Wisconsin Budget Includes Domestic Partnership
In June, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed the state’s budget, which includes the creation of a domestic partnership system for same-sex couples. It makes Wisconsin the first state with a ban on same-sex marriage to allow domestic partnerships. Wisconsin also becomes the first Midwestern state legislatively to enact legal protections for same-sex couples. Beginning August 1, couples can apply for a declaration of domestic partnership with their county of residence. Couples are offered 43 of the more than 200 rights and benefits extended to married couples.
Maryland Governor Open to Recognizing Gay Marriages
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is open to recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states. He said, “I think that it’s very difficult to deny equal rights to people when it comes to rights that are disbursed by a government, rather than a faith or a church. So, yes, we probably should respect those rights.” He previously supported civil unions over same-sex marriage. But he’ll wait for a legal opinion from the Maryland Attorney General before any changes could be made.
India Strikes Down Ban on Gay Sex
India’s High Court in Delhi ruled that sex between adults of the same gender was not a crime, and that a 150-year-old colonial era law making it illegal had violated the rights of citizens. Chief Justice A.P. Shah stated, “We declare that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, insofar as it criminalizes consensual acts of others in private, runs counter to basic human rights guaranteed by articles of the Indian constitution.” Section 377 was implemented during British rule of India in 1860.