Domestic partnership registry
People signing up for the city's new domestic partnership registry might want to keep one fact in mind: Kansas law does not prohibit discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation.
Lawrence, since the early 1990s, has had a local ordinance that prohibits discrimination against people because they are gay. But no such state law exists.
Brandon Myers, chief legal counsel of the state's Human Rights Commission, said he believes that Lawrence is the only city in the state that has such a law.
That means, Myers said, that a Lawrence resident who works in Topeka, for example, could be fired from a job for being homosexual and would have no legal recourse under state law.
The Lawrence registry is an open public document, and the Journal-World will be publishing the names of people added to the registry as part of the newspaper's On the Record section.
Lori Messinger, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Equality Coalition, said most gays and lesbians are well aware of the lack of statewide protection against discrimination.
She advised couples who are contemplating joining the registry to first look at their company's employee handbook to determine whether the firm has a policy prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.