In the workplace
You cannot legally be fired, demoted, denied a job, or otherwise treated unequally in your workplace because of your sexual orientation. The law covers all employers, including labor unions, employment agencies, and licensing agencies.
Workplace harassment based on sexual orientation is also illegal. This means, for example, if co-workers harass someone for being gay, supervisors have a duty to try to stop that harassment.
Under Wisconsin law, harassment may include verbal abuse, epithets, vulgar or derogatory language, display of offensive cartoons or materials, mimicry, lewd or offensive gestures, and telling anti-gay jokes. The behavior must be more than a few isolated incidents or casual comments. Harassment involves a pattern of abusive and degrading conduct directed against the employee based on sexual orientation that is sufficient to interfere with his or her work or to create an offensive and hostile work environment.
Wisconsin state courts have said that the workplace nondiscrimination law does not prohibit an employer from refusing to provide domestic partner benefits.
It is illegal to be evicted, threatened or intimidated, denied the ability to rent, buy, construct, or finance a home or otherwise be treated unequally in housing because of your sexual orientation. This applies to management companies, landlords, real estate agents, and subsidized housing. This does not apply to roommates in units in which five or fewer people live.
In Public Accommodations
It is illegal to be kicked out of, denied services from, or otherwise treated differently by a place of public accommodation because of your sexual orientation. Wisconsin law considers public accommodations to include places of business or recreation, lodging establishments, credit/financial services, restaurants, taverns, nursing homes, clinics, hospitals, and any other place where accommodations, amusement, goods, or services are available to the general public. Private, nonprofit organizations that provide accommodations, amusement, and goods and services only to their members and members’ guests (for example, country clubs) are not considered public accommodations under state law.
The law also forbids anti-gay harassment in public accommodations, so long as the employees or owners have some degree of control over the harassment. For example, it may be illegal discrimination if a bartender consistently talks with patrons using anti-gay slurs.
Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in public accommodations can also include discrimination against same-sex couples who show each other affection in the same way that opposite-sex couples do in the same establishment. For example, you cannot be kicked off a bus or out of a store for holding hands with your partner, or for slow-dancing with your partner in a bar where heterosexual couples dance together frequently.