If you listen to his adversaries, it's difficult to tell.
Julaine Appling, who is suing WI Gov. Jim Doyle over the alleged unconstitutionality of the State's domestic partnership provision, considers those opposed to her schemes to be "minions of Satan."
Meanwhile Ms. Appling's lead counsel Rick Esenberg, appearing on local public radio this morning, suggests the State of Wisconsin is making an attempt at "sanctifying in some sense" the partnerships.
This, evidently, in furtherance of the proposition that the domestic partnerships are "substantially similar" to marriage.
It may come as a rude surprise to many that the State is in the business of "sanctifying" in any sense any thing, least of all marriage.
But, for the sake of argument, if it really is the case that the State of Wisconsin does "sanctify in some sense" marriage and the domestic partnerships are conversely incapable of "sanctification,"* wouldn't that mitigate against a potential finding of "substantial similarity"?
Clearly. After all, it's Esenberg himself who opposes "toting up" the individual legal protections afforded by marriage versus domestic partnerships and reaching the substantial similarity determination in that manner, preferring instead a more "holistic" approach.
* They exist solely "for purposes [no] greater than the relationship itself and the self-directed needs of the individuals comprising it."
Or so we are reliably informed by both metaphysicians, Ms. Appling and Mr. Esenberg. Notably, well in advance of any such partnership having even been applied for or undertaken, let alone "sanctified."