Civil marriage equality in effect at the state level since October 2014. (Same-sex couples may legally marry.)
Since 1979, statute 765.01 has defined marriage as: Marriage, so far as its validity at law is concerned, is a civil contract, to which the consent of the parties capable in law of contracting is essential, and which creates the legal status of husband and wife.
In 1982 Wisconsin was the first state to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, education, credit and all public accommodations.
In 2001, Wisconsin legislators passed a law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in any school setting.
Since 2002, Wisconsin hate crimes law has punished violence based on sexual orientation, but not gender identity.
In 2003, legislation banning same-sex marriage was passed by the Wisconsin legislature. Governor Jim Doyle vetoed it and the Assembly failed to override the Governor's veto by one vote, on November 12.
In 2006, an amendment to the state constitution was passed banning same-sex marriage and prohibiting the establishment of any similar legal status under another name.
Since 2009, Wisconsin statute 770 has provided domestic partnerships (with limited rights) to same-sex couples.
In 2012, Wisconsin became the first state to have an LGBT U.S Senator, Democrat Tammy Baldwin.