Members of the conservative group Wisconsin Family Action filed a lawsuit in 2010 alleging the registry violates a 2006 state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage or anything substantially similar. The registry grants same-sex couples a host of legal rights.
Austin Nimocks is an attorney for the group. He told the justices during oral arguments Wednesday the qualifications to get married and get on the registry are substantially similar and the registry mimics a married relationship.
Christopher Clark, an attorney for Fair Wisconsin, the state's largest gay rights group, counters the registry doesn't come close to marriage. He says marriage is a civil contract that comes with obligations that the registry doesn't require.