Jen, left, and Rose Wehrli-Mead affirm that their statements are true, as they apply for a domestic partnership at the Racine County Courthouse in Racine, Wisc., on Monday, Aug. 3. It was the first day same-sex couples could obtain domestic partnerships. Wisconsin became the first state in the Midwest to enact relationship recognition through legislation when Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle signed the budget on June 29. Provisions in the spending plan granted same-sex couples dozens of the same legal protections as spouses, including hospital visitation, inheritance and medical leave rights. U.S. Census Bureau figures show about 14,000 same-sex couples in Wisconsin.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 7, 2009.