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On August 3, 2009, gay and lesbian couples began registering for domestic partnership in Wisconsin, granting them 43, but not all, rights of marriage including hospital visitation and estate planning. The measure was included in Governor Jim Doyle's biannual state budget that was approved by lawmakers. Voters banned same-sex marriage in Wisconsin in 2006.

Wisconsin bans gay marriage within the state, but under a pre-existing statute gay residents that travel out of the state to get married can be fined up to $10,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 9 months.
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