Gay Marriage Rulings Could Affect Wisconsin Case

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Civil liberties advocates say a U.S. Supreme Court decision granting benefits to same-sex couples could bolster arguments supporting Wisconsin's domestic partner registry.

The conservative group Wisconsin Family Action is challenging the registry in front of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, saying it violates Wisconsin's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday legally married gay Americans are eligible for federal tax, health and pension benefits. It also let stand a lower court finding that California's gay marriage ban is unconstitutional.

Larry Dupuis is an attorney for the Wisconsin American Civil Liberties Union. He says the California decision is tailored to that state but the benefits ruling strengthens arguments for Wisconsin's registry.

Republicans say the rulings reaffirmed states' ability to set gay marriage policy as they wish.

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