Panel votes to end domestic partner registry

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Legislature's budget committee has voted to eliminate a same-sex domestic partner registry established in 2009.

The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted along party lines to end the registry after six months for anyone not already on it.

The committee also eliminated a domestic partner registry available for state employees who are same-sex or opposite sex partners.

Republican backers say neither is needed because all the benefits provided under the registries are now available to anyone who gets married. Same-sex marriage was not permitted at the time the registries were created, but it is legal now.

Republican Rep. Dale Kooyenga says, "This isn't personal. It's simply an equity issue, a fairness issue."

Democratic Rep. Gordon Hintz cautioned that there could be unintended consequences in eliminating the registries.

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