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|LGBT rights in Wisconsin|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal since 1983|
|Domestic partnerships since 2009|
|Same-sex marriage and "substantially similar" unions prohibited by the state Constitution.|
|Adoption||Single parent, with partner granted parental equivalent or guardianship.|
|Discrimination protections||Yes, sexual orientation only.|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the U.S. state of Wisconsin have some of the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexuals; however, they may face some legal issues not experienced by non-LGBT residents.
 Law regarding same-sex sexual activity
Wisconsin was part Michigan territory in 1836, when it adopted a prohibition on sodomy that applied to both heterosexual and homosexual sexual activities, excluding cunnilingus. The criminal prohibition was retained when Wisconsin became a state in 1848. The definition was expanded to include fellatio in 1897 as well as the new crime of "taking improper liberties" with a minor. In the 1950s, following a series of high-profile sex crimes, Wisconsin criminalized cunnilingus and increased the penalties for "sexual perversion". In 1959 the State barred persons convicted of "sexual perversion" from using an automobile or any vehicle requiring a license.
In 1966, the Wisconsin Young Democrats approved a resolution urging "the abolition of all legal restriction on sexual relations between consenting adults which do not violate the rights of others", one of the first major political organizations in the United States to do so. Republican Gov. Warren P. Knowles referred to supporters of the resolution as "homocrats" and some Democrats of various ages distanced themselves from the language.
In the 1970s, court challenges to the sodomy law on privacy grounds failed, but the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the law should not apply to private and consensual acts between a husband and wife. In 1976, the state repealed its ban on newspapers' covering sodomy trials. In 1977, the state reclassified consensual sodomy as a misdemeanor.
In 1983, Wisconsin legalized private, non-commercial acts of sodomy between consenting adults. In order to obtain sufficient votes among legislators, the bill stated that Wisconsin did not approve of "any sexual conduct outside of the institution of marriage."
 Recognition of same-sex relationships
Same-sex marriages, civil unions and other statuses considered "identical or substantially similar" to marriage are banned by an amendment to the state constitution enacted by popular vote in 2006.
Wisconsin maintains a registry of domestic partnerships that provide same-sex couples with limited rights, specifically 43 of the more than 200 spousal rights afforded different-sex couples. The registry, Chapter 770, was established in 2009 by a provision included in the state's biennial budget bill and signed into law by Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. Wisconsin's domestic partnership registry for same-sex couples does not grant two-parent adoptions. Wisconsin was the first state in the Midwest to enact a form of recognition for same-sex unions. Out of the several states that have bans on same-sex marriage and civil unions, Wisconsin was the first and only one to enact limited domestic partnerships.
The registry has survived an ongoing court challenge that claims it violates the state's constitutional amendment prohibiting the creation of a legal status "similar to that of marriage" for same-sex couples.
Wisconsin has provided benefits to same-sex partners of state employees since 2009. In some jurisdictions, domestic partnership benefits for state employees have been expanded beyond those rights provided to other employees under the state's domestic partnership registry.
Same-sex couples in Wisconsin may also attain legal recognition depending on what county they live in.
 Adoption and parenting
Wisconsin law bans discrimination based on sexual orientation in all public accommodations. The statute explicitly includes adoption rights  Wisconsin's domestic partner registry does not grant parental rights, but same-sex couples may attain limited rights through a co-parenting agreement or another legal arrangement granted by state courts.
All Wisconsinites may adopt as individuals and LGBT individuals have been granted joint adoption rights by certain jurisdictions. Second-parent adoption is not legal. Adoption agencies in Wisconsin will ensure that once a spouse in a same-sex relationship attains parental rights the other spouse receives comparable parental rights or full guardianship. 
Domestic partner benefits for state employees ensure that the dependents of one partner are covered by the other partner's health insurance.
 Discrimination laws
In 1982 Wisconsin was the first state to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, education, credit and all public accommodations. When Republican Gov. Lee S. Dreyfus signed the law, he said that "It is a fundamental tenet of the Republican Party that government ought not intrude in the private lives of individuals where no state purpose is served, and there is nothing more private or intimate than who you live with and who you love."
 Hate crime laws
Wisconsin hate crimes law punishes violence based on sexual orientation, but not gender identity.
Although gender identity is not explicitly included in Wisconsin's hate crime legislation, perceived sexual orientation is often used as a medium to prosecute individuals whom act based on gender identity. 
 Anti-bullying laws and policies
In 2001, Wisconsin legislators passed a law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in any school setting. 
Any school in the state of Wisconsin that receives federal funding (regardless of being public or private) "are required by federal law to address discrimination on a number of different personal characteristics."
 Gender reassignment
Wisconsin allows a person born in the state who has completed sex-reassignment surgery to amend his or her birth certificate once documentation of the surgery and of a change of name is provided.
A 2005 Wisconsin statute denying hormone therapy to prisoners undergoing sexual reassignment, the Inmate Sex Change Prevention Act, was ruled unconstitutional in a unanimous opinion in the case of Fields v. Smith by a three-judge panel of United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on August 5, 2011.
 Summary table
|Domestic partnerships allowed||(2009)|
|Hospital visitation allowed||(2009)|
|Adoption by gay/lesbian individuals||(1983)|
|Employment discrimination prohibited||(1982)|
|Housing discrimination prohibited||(1982)|
|Hate crime legislation||(2002)|
|Bullying in schools prohibited||(2001)|
 See also
- William N. Eskridge, Dishonorable Passions: Sodomy Laws in America, 1861-2003 (Penguin, 2008), 50, 54
- Wehrwein, Austin C. (April 10, 1966). "Freer Sex Plank Stirs Wisconsin". New York Times. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- Eskridge, Dishonorable Passions, 201
- Eskridge, Dishonorable Passions, 219
- Wisconsin Sodomy Law
- Wisconsin Marriage/Relationship Recognition Law
- Forster, Stacey (July 1, 2009). "Wisconsin to recognize domestic partnerships". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
- "Wisconsin court upholds domestic partner registry". USA Today. December 21, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
- National Conference of State Legislatures: "States offering benefits for same-sex partners of state employees", accessed April 16, 2011
- Weisberg, Louis (March 20, 2012). "Manitowoc adopts domestic partnership benefits". Wisconsin Gazette. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
- Fair Wisconsin: , accessed April 8, 2012
- , accessed April 8, 2012
- Adoption Pride: , Accessed May 30, 2012
- Wisconsin Adoption Information Center: , Accessed May 30, 2012
- Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds: , accessed April 8, 2012
- Bauer, Scott (January 3, 2008). "Former Wis. governor Dreyfus dead at 81". Boston Globe. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- Human Rights Campaign: Wisconsin Non-Discrimination Law , accessed August 7, 2011
- The Gay Rights State': Wisconsin's Pioneering Legislation to Prohibit Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation
- Human Rights Campaign: Wisconsin Hate Crimes Law , accessed August 7, 2011
- Anti-defamation League: , Accessed April 8, 2012
- StopBullying.gov: , accessed April 8, 2012
- Human Rights Campaign: Wisconsin Birth Certificate Law: Gender Identity Issues, accessed August 7, 2011
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Bruce Vielmetti, "Court upholds hormone therapy for transgender inmates," August 5, 2011, accessed August 7, 2011
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|The Wikipedia article is LGBT rights in Wisconsin|
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