Walker Wants to Stop Gay Partner Hospital Visitations

Here’s a story that will leave you enraged. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is refusing to defend a state law that allows the domestic partners of gay people have visitation rights, among other protections, and he’s asking a court to allow the state to withdraw from the case.

Gov. Scott Walker believes a new law that gives gay couples hospital visitation rights violates the state constitution and has asked a judge to allow the state to stop defending it.

Democrats who controlled the Legislature in 2009 changed the law so that same-sex couples could sign up for domestic partnership registries with county clerks to secure some – but not all – of the rights afforded married couples.

Wisconsin Family Action sued last year in Dane County circuit court, arguing that the registries violated a 2006 amendment to the state constitution that bans gay marriage and any arrangement that is substantially similar.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen refused to defend the lawsuit, saying he agreed the new law violated the state constitution. Then-Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, hired Madison attorney Lester Pines to defend the state.

Walker, a Republican, replaced Doyle in January and fired Pines in March. On Friday, Walker filed a motion to stop defending the case.

“Governor Walker, in deference to the legal opinion of the attorney general that the domestic partner registry…is unconstitutional, does not believe the public interest requires a continued defense of this law,” says the brief, filed by Walker’s chief counsel, Brian Hagedorn.

Two thoughts come to mind. First, this is just fucking cruel and unnecessary. Second, I’m sure we’re going to hear conservatives raging against Walker for refusing to defend a state law in court like they did at Obama for doing the same thing with DOMA, right? In fact, I’m sure they’re going to lie and claim that he’s refusing to enforce the law (which is different from not defending it, but that didn’t stop them from lying), which destroys the rule of law and human civilization and leads to dogs and cats living together. Right? They’ll do that, won’t they? Of course they won’t. Because as usual, their arguments are really just pretexts for political partisanship.

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  • cptdoom

    What I don’t understand is, isn’t this a moot point? WI is one of the states that is subject to a judicial overturn of their anti-gay Constitutional Amendment, so how can that Amendment now limit same-sex couples from having hospital visitation?

  • John Pieret

    This story is, of course, four years old. The good news is that domestic partnerships survived the lawsuit, winning at every level of the state courts. Walker, now wanting a shot at the presidency, is presumably smart enough to try and overturn the law which, it is hoped, will become moot by the end of June anyway.

  • wreck

    Walker must have seen what Brownback did in Kansas and decided he couldn’t let Sam walk away with the “World’s Biggest Prick” title uncontested.

  • U Frood

    It’s amazing how often you hear people nowadays arguing “Well, why isn’t a civil union good enough for you? Why do you have to call it marriage?” and apparently forget how many states passed laws like this explicitly forbidding even pseudo-marriage arrangements.

    In this case, I would argue an arrangement that only gives you visitation rights is not even remotely similar to marriage.

  • John Pieret


    Yes it is moot at the present due to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision but there is always some doubt when the issue is before the Supreme Court.

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com cycleninja

    Scott Walker is proof that the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is so weak, they can’t field an electable candidate in the face of such an incompetent, vicious prick.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Look, it’s bad enough when sick homos come in to my hospital and gay up the place, but you people won’t be happy until their “family” is allowed to visit them while they’re there, too! And if that’s not bad enough, their visits remind me that my family won’t visit me because I’m an awful, spite-filled person!

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    “Half of Republican primary and caucus voters in the key early states of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina said that opposition to same-sex marriage is unacceptable, according to a new NBC News/Marist poll.

    “Fifty-two percent of those likely to vote in New Hampshire and South Carolina said opposing same-sex marriage is either ‘mostly or totally’ unacceptable. Forty-seven percent of those likely to vote in Iowa same the same.”


    South Carolina. South-freaking-Carolina. I’d say the fat lady has commenced her vocal performance.

  • tuibguy

    How do Wisconsin Family Action even have standing to sue? Who actually, could have standing? That’s what I don’t get.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    fifthdentist, sure the worm has turned to the point that even a slight majority of some Republicans in some states are against discrimination, but they have, and are, and will continue to vote GOP, no matter how much the party’s stance conflicts with their own, much like you Democrats who say you love America while voting for the party whose little flags pins aren’t even the right size and whose “president” didn’t even salute that one time!

  • hunter

    This is just the sort of pettiness I’d expect from Walker. Wait until those hospitals start losing Medicare and Medicaid funds, because that what will happen under the regs.

    Not that he cares.

  • grumpyoldfart

    I wonder who elected him into office.

  • theguy


    Not me. I’ve voted a solid-Democratic ticket the last four elections.

    I remember Ed covered this story a few years ago. We had a nut in the comments, called himself “randy” who was making shit up about gay rights supporters; something like how we’re a 1000 times more likely to have unprotected sex than the anti-gay crowd.

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    cycleninja @ 6

    an incompetent, vicious prick

    hunter @ 11

    This is just the sort of pettiness I’d expect from Walker

    You both underestimate this man by an order of magnitude. He is neither incompetent nor petty. Vicious prick applies, though. This fellow is a very shrewd and nasty authoritarian (read: bullyboy control freak) who would like nothing more than have the world bow at his throne. He identifies with Shogun.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    Yes, Modus, but if the RINOS who vote in those states select a homo-lovin’ presidential nominee, think how many of the teabaggers will stay home or cast protest votes for the Constitution Party in the general election.

  • ricko

    “Scott Walker is proof that the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is so weak, they can’t field an electable candidate in the face of such an incompetent, vicious prick.”

    They’ve lost three election in the last four years, two of them they lost with Tom Barrett, the current Mayor of Milwaukee and a former Congressman… The Democratic Party isn’t at fault, neither is Barrett or those of us who supported him, the voters made a bad choice, twice and then doubled or tripled down on it the third time.

    Tom Barrett is a good person and he’s have been a great Governor.

  • felidae

    No cruelty in the defense of a religious viewpoint is excessive–just refer to a Mr Torquemada or a Mr Al-Baghdadi for guidance

  • teele

    Is this the same fellow who’s been swaggering around and bragging about the fact that he dropped out of school? The one who’s claiming that persistence, working toward a goal, keeping your nose to the grindstone and your shoulder to the wheel, are filthy elitist concepts (which he expects his boys to have, but which are beneath him and the fine men and women of the Tea Party)? That Scott Walker? I think Mr. Walker should start talking up Harry S. Truman, big time, mention how they are kindred spirits and so forth, and downplay his party affiliation with elitist scum like Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan. and the Bushes. In fact, I think he should build his presidential campaign on sneering at yet another of them thar snooty Bush fellars with his fancy college dee-gree.

  • akcita

    LOL, Nice job findiung a four-year old story that was pre-Supreme Court Decision and dishonestly presenting it as a recent story.

    Why not show the October 2014 stories where he states that the Supreme Court has decided the issue and that Wisconsin is honoring Gay Marriages?

    A person with any shred of integrity would have admitted that upfront, but alas integrity must be sorely lacking your character.

    For the rest of the commenters, read a few other news sites rather than two-bit bloggers. There is a reason no major outlet has this manufactured controversy.