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Clerks prepare to register same-sex partnerships

It's not marriage, but some say it's marriage-like. There will be a waiting period and a fee, but no ceremony is needed.

In a couple of weeks, same-sex couples in Wisconsin will be allowed to declare domestic partnerships and take advantage of some of the rights and benefits extended to married couples.

County clerks around the state are preparing to accept domestic partnership declaration applications starting Aug. 3.

The Domestic Partnership Law was included in the 2009-2010 state budget signed by Gov. Jim Doyle June 29. The budget also includes domestic partner benefits for state employees.

The application process, said St. Croix County Clerk Cindy Campbell, will be similar to applying for a marriage license. At least one of the applicants must have lived in the county for 30 days or longer, both must be of the same sex and at least 18, neither may be married or in another domestic partnership, the two must share a residence and they must not be nearer of kin that second cousins.

For more please read the July 15 print version of the Herald.