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Clerk offers opposite-sex couples new benefits

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Posted at 4:25 PM, May 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-13 17:29:32-04

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee County Clerk Joe Czarnezki announced Friday that he will immediately begin issuing domestic partnership declarations to opposite-sex couples.

"I have had a number of opposite sex couples ask to apply for a domestic partnership. I feel that these couples should be treated equally under the law and my legal counsel agrees," Czarnezki says.

Czarnezki added that Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell will also be joining him in the effort.

Couples who enter into a domestic partnership are given certain benefits, such as qualifying for a partner's health insurance coverage, assigning to a surviving partner interest in their home, and qualifying for family leave to care for a domestic partner, the county says.

The decision comes after the Milwaukee County Corporation Counsel ruled on the subject. Czarnezki says it also follows naturally from federal court rulings on the same subject.