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Archive for Thursday, February 15, 2007

Speakers defend Lawrence registry

House committee considers bill targeting domestic partnerships

February 15, 2007

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Proposed state law would undercut Lawrence's attempt to publicly recognize same-sex relationships

The Kansas Equality Coalition is currently lobbying Lawrence City Commissioners to create a way for couples who can't or don't want to marry, to register with the city. However, today, members found themselves lobbying the state to let them do it. Enlarge video

— Several Lawrence residents Thursday testified against a bill that would prevent the city of Lawrence from establishing a domestic partnership registry.

"This isn't a game; this is our lives," Deb Taylor told the House Federal and State Affairs Committee. "My rights are being taken away before I even get them."

But state Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, said his proposed ban would keep state law on domestic relationships uniform and protect the state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The Lawrence City Commission is considering the establishment of a registry that would recognize domestic partnerships of same-sex and opposite-sex couples who aren't married.

"The net result may well be an erosion or hollowing out of the marriage amendment," Kinzer said of Lawrence's proposal. "Indeed, I do not think it unlikely that this is exactly what some proponents of the Lawrence ordinance have in mind."

The constitutional amendment, approved by a statewide vote in 2005, recognizes marriage only between one man and one woman.

Committee Chairman Arlen Siegfried, R-Olathe, said he didn't know how he would handle Kinzer's bill.

House Bill 2299 would prevent any city or county from establishing a domestic partner registry that "recognizes any domestic partnership not recognized under state law."

Siegfried said the critical question was whether the home rule authority of cities allowed the establishment of local domestic partnership registries.

"It's not so much a gay marriage and domestic partnerships issue to me as it is a home rule issue," he said. "I have some studying to do on home rule issues."

Siegfried said if he decides that the committee should work on the bill, it will be scheduled for the week after next.

Local voices

In addition to several Lawrence residents testifying against the bill, Mayor Mike Amyx wrote a letter to the committee asking that it reject Kinzer's measure.

"Whether the City Commission decides to pursue such an ordinance, is a matter best left to local elected officials," Amyx said.

The city is awaiting an opinion from the state attorney general's office on the legality of such a domestic registry ordinance.

Kinzer, a member of the Federal and State Affairs Committee, was the only person who testified in favor of his bill.

Taylor, who attended Thursday's hearing with her partner, Jennifer Kopp, said she resented Kinzer's insinuation that advocates of gays and lesbians were seeking approval of the Lawrence registry as a way to open a legal attack on the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

"This isn't a game," Taylor said. She said the registry also would help gay and lesbian couples to be with their partners if they are hospitalized.

At one point, civil rights attorney Pedro Irigonegaray asked everyone in the audience who was homosexual or had a family member or friend who was homosexual to stand up. About two dozen people stood.

"There's no reason to do this," he said referring to Kinzer's bill. "Other than to cause hurt."

Opposition

Several of those testifying against Kinzer's bill said the domestic partnership registry was needed so that couples in unmarried relationships could secure employee-provided health benefits for their partners.

"We want people in Lawrence to be able to access those health insurance policies easily," said Maggie Childs, chairwoman of the Kansas Equality Coalition of Lawrence-Douglas County.

But Kinzer said: "To the extent a private company requires a formalized domestic partnership for extension of insurance or other benefits, that is quite frankly the private company's problem."

Others testifying against the House bill included Bruce Ney of Lawrence, senior counsel for AT&T; Steve Maceli, owner of Maceli's Catering in Lawrence; Bill Dunn of Wichita; and Thomas Witt, chairman of the Kansas Equality Coalition.

The League of Women Voters of Kansas also filed testimony opposed to the bill saying the proposed Lawrence registry was "a local government issue" that "poses no threat or harm to married couples or any other citizens."

Comments

meadowbreeze 7 years, 10 months ago

The problem is one of basic Human Rights. The state has an obligation to uphold these inalienable rights even to the point of not allowing a majority to deny them. If it were merely a matter of votes, we could just as easily reinstate Jim Crow, outlaw Native Americans to speak their language, put in a poll tax, declare some folks to be 3/5ths human and make others invisible. And there are some Kansans who would be happy with that. Too bad that Human Rights matter so little to those who see everything that offends them as wrong.

denak 7 years, 10 months ago

I read an article yesterday that stated that two parent unmarried couples are now the majority of two parent families. (50.3%)

One of the reasons that people cited for eventually marrying is for health insurance benefits.

As long as this issue is presented as pro-homosexual, heterosexuals will be content to allow this to pass and to feel superior.

Heterosexuals need to wake up and realize that what these people are doing will eventually affect them.

When it is your heterosexual partner who can not visit you in the hospital, even though you two have been together for 10 years, then you might see things a little bit differently.

Everytime one of these bills pass it is always passed using the old "homosexuals are going to destroy marriage" arguement. Then they use these bills to take away heterosexuals rights also.

In Texas a few years back, they banned homosexuals from being foster parents or adopting. That was fine with most Texans because it didn't bother them. Then Texas came back and banned single heterosexual people from being foster parents or adopting.

Suddenly, people woke up. You could just here all the heterosexuals out there crying "hey you are taking away my rights wha wha what"

Well too bad, you didn't stand up for lesbians and homosexuals when their rights were taken away so don't complain when the morality police successfully takes away your rights.

7 years, 10 months ago

It truly is a human rights issue.

Same sex couples are entitled to be allowed to take advantage of all the kinds of benefits and responsibilities that are being categorically denied to them.

It is no different than the ban on white and black people marrying was. Loving v. Virginia changed that, and I can only hope that with time the US Supreme Court will similarly protect the rights of same sex couples so that they can know not only the joys and frustrations of marriage, but also experience the security that comes with having the legal and financial status of a married couple.

bd 7 years, 10 months ago

I don't see anyone's rights being violated! The state law is clear on what marriage is! If you don't like the law change it! If not ,live with it like the rest of us! If you can't live with it, move to where it is allowed!

Porter 7 years, 10 months ago

If you don't have a good argument, use an exclamation point!

denak 7 years, 10 months ago

'....Oh yea, and anti-gay ministers who have sex with gay crack whores are also a threat to marriage.."

Haven't you heard.....Haggard (and that is who I am assuming you are refering to) has been "cured" and it only took 21 days of "therapy" to do it.

bd 7 years, 10 months ago

Sorry to rain on your rainbow parade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 10 months ago

Why can't you just be honest, bowhunter and bd?-- you're bigots who don't want gays to have equal rights, likely because you're insecure in your own sexuality.

ModSquadGal 7 years, 10 months ago

Honestly, can't people just leave it alone? Why are lawmakers and idiots like Kinzer so afraid of domestic partnerships? What could POSSIBLY be the threat? How does this even remotely affect the "holy ground" that has become marriage? And since when was heterosexual marriage such an overwhelming success worthy of ultimate praise and protection? The divorce rate is ridiculous! Why don't we spend a little time working on the relationship part and not so much on whether or not God approves. The God I believe in isn't that mean or vindictive.

People are simply asking for the right to live the life they have chosen and to be able to care for their loved ones the same way a married couple can. If it was allowed, they WOULD get married, but OH NO - that would unravel the fabric of the Christian-Right's agenda and their world would cease to exist, so let's not let gay couples have ANY of the benefits of being in a committed relationship.

It's just so pathetic. I know this WILL change with time, the same way equal rights has always changed to accommodate a broader scope of life experiences. But in the meantime, it's just ANNOYING to have to put up with such intolerance and fear. Crawl back under your rock, Kinzer & Company.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 10 months ago

"Why can't you just be honest, bowhunter and bd?-- you're bigots who don't want gays to have equal rights, likely because you're insecure in your own sexuality."

Another insightful, well thought out, hit-the-nail-right-on-the-head observation. (tongue in cheek)

dagtag1 7 years, 10 months ago

The issue is less about rights than it is about fairness.

Let the hetero & religious community have their marriage between one man & one woman. I'm all for that.

Laws should be made to protect people. I have yet to be given an explanation as to whom and how House Bill 2299 will protect anyone. A domestic registry will not make anyone like me better or treat me on a personal level any more fairly, but it will HELP to give fair protection when it comes to health benefits offered by private companies and hospital visitation.

That is all I am looking for ...fairness.

kujayhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Heterosexuals have already "destroyed" the institution of marriage. Why does anybody care who somebody else is married to?

And yes, I'm a heterosexual man with a wife and two children.

Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

The home rule clause of the Kansas Constitution could not be written more clearly. The issue at hand is zoning, not marriage. Unless the State wishes to adopt a centralized, uniform mechanism for zoning for the entire state then every locality is free to write their own rules. End of story.

jafs 7 years, 10 months ago

One issue is whether the state has the right to dictate policy in cities.

The broader issue is indeed rights - in Loving vs. Virginia, the US Supreme Court ruled that "marriage is a fundamental civil right".

When states pass amendments defining marriage as heterosexual, they are denying those "fundamental" rights to the gay/lesbian community.

I can only hope that the Supreme Court will allow a case regarding these amendments to be heard, so that they can overturn them on constitutional grounds.

For a country founded on the concepts of equality and individual freedom, we seem to be taking quite a long time to create a society which reflects those principles.

bd 7 years, 10 months ago

You cannot undermine State laws with local laws! Get a clue!

ksdivakat 7 years, 10 months ago

ok, Im not asking for anyone to jump down my throat I just have a couple questions about this so i can make an informed intelligent decision.....#1-the medical insurance issue....its true that even right now same sex couples can get medical insurance through some companies, I used to work for Disney and we offered it there, so that being said, is this registry to "force" local businesses to offer same sex insurance? And the 2nd issue is hospitalization and being able to make medical decisions for your partner..ok couldnt a "durable power of attorney" also provide that? I am "commonlaw" married so it doesnt matter I have no rights, but I am curious as to exactly what this registry would accomplish?

james bush 7 years, 10 months ago

What a waste of time and money to have the state legislature involved in Lawrence's gay problems.

George_Braziller 7 years, 10 months ago

ksdivakat - The registry doesn't force local businesses to offer insurance to domestic partners. It does allow a mechanism for domestic partners to be recognized by a governmental entity so that the partner is eligible IF the employer offers the benefit to domestic partners. Sprint's coverage requires this type of recognition.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 10 months ago

For millenia, one man and one woman has been the model for successful families and, thus, successful societies. This truth has crossed all people groups in all cultures in all points in history.

We need to remember that tolerance does not trump the family. Inclusion does not trump the family. Brand new, made-up "rights" do not trump the family. We cannot hope to protect the family by undermining what it is that family is based upon: one man and one woman.

notsobright 7 years, 10 months ago

So if someone does not agree they are now a bigot. Great! Because some people accept a real world where morals exist they are now oppressed. I find it comical that there is a bigoted bumper sticker that states Kansas is bigoted. Apparently that bumper sticker believes in some standard of morality while denying it in the same statement? Go figure???

In this scenario why just one man and one man? Or, one woman and one woman? Why a pair? Where did that notion come from? Why not one man, one man, two women, three dogs, and a horse? Don't oppress my view here- or you are apparently a bigot.

This is ridiculous. The Republic has already spoken on the issue, the law has been passed on moral grounds, and the legislature should uphold the law. I applaud Kinzer. He is doing what he was elected to do- uphold the law.

If you want it different, then convince the majority against moral natural law that it should be different.

If you think those who have a particular moral view are bigots- please quit the oppression- some of us can not help it, we were (like millions throughout the history of the world)born this way.

ksmoderate 7 years, 10 months ago

Notsobright: No one is born a bigot; they are raised that way.

I do agree with you that until the constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage is overturned, there's not much to do. Let's hope that it is overturned sooner than later!

STRS: What about divorce, single-parent "families," etc.? Where's the constitutional amendment banning those things, as they SURELY help to "destroy" The Family...

George_Braziller 7 years, 10 months ago

Guess what. People who are gay or lesbian were also "born this way."

ksdivakat 7 years, 10 months ago

So what I am hearing is that this is up to each business. As I mentioned Disney had insurance and there was no requirement to be "recognized" as a domestic relationship. Id say then maybe people should go to their employeers and start there. When you start a "battle" you never start from the top and work your way down, you always start from the bottom and work your way up, so why not start with your employeers and get them to "unrestrict" domestic partner insurance and then work your way up? I think that people are tired of hearing that everyones rights are being taken away, I think that most people would be more receptive of this if it were presented in a dofferent light, and power is in the presentation. When people start to yell that their rights are being taken away, i think the tendency is to look the other way, or ignore it, maybe a different approach would get the point accross and a soft word always turns away anger and reproach. Maybe i dont know what im talking about, im just saying if i were the lawmakers I know what would get my attention, and because kansas voted and said no to this all the screaming in the world isnt gonna make it happen, power is in the presentation my friends, come at it from a different angle and maybe that will change minds.

Rationalanimal 7 years, 10 months ago

"Heterosexuals have already "destroyed" the institution of marriage. Why does anybody care who somebody else is married to?

And yes, I'm a heterosexual man with a wife and two children"

================================

Nice try at sophistry. There is a distinction to be made between the institution of marriage and those who enter that institution. It is a mis-stated cause and effect logical fallacy to say that the institution of marriage is flawed because those who enter into it are flawed. The virtues of the marriage institution stand independent of the virtues of individuals entered into it. The problem is not the institution's inherent virtues. Rather, the problem is those who enter into marriage and break marriage covenants, thereby failing to live the virtues marriage requires. Divorce, infidelity, and abuse are not the by-product of the institution, they are the by-product of bad agency. Bad agency in turn breaks the marriage covenent, not the other way around. A logical assessment of marriage, as the institution, does not expose flaws. It's soundness is time tested. The virtues it demands and the benefits to the traditional family and society if covenants are kept are indisputable. It is the bad agency of men and women that fail the institution of marriage, it is not the virtues of marriage that fail men and women. Thus, the logical solution is not to change marriage as an institution because men and women fail it, but to place focus on changing the men and women themselves who fail marriage. The agency of men and women must change, not the institution.

deec 7 years, 10 months ago

The history of marriage does not show the clear-cut one dude one dudette pattern some of you espouse, although it is a lovely myth to think so. Even in cultures where it was the norm, women and children were regarded as property. How many girlfriends did some of those bible guys have?

Rationalanimal 7 years, 10 months ago

Jafs said: "The broader issue is indeed rights - in Loving vs. Virginia, the US Supreme Court ruled that "marriage is a fundamental civil right"."

Jafs, we've been all through this but you still keep peddling your Loving v. Virginia argument that gay people have a fundamental right to marriage. You are wrong. The Loving decision has not been interpreted to mean an unqualified right that extends to gay people under equal protection. You're just dead stinking wrong. Since Loving we have the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and state constitutional amendments throughout the country defining marriage as between one man and one woman have not been overturned. Moreover, the Supreme Court has refused to recognize gay people as a protected or suspect class for equal protection purposes. So, your constitutional analysis can only have come from the magical kingdom of the United States of the City of Lawrence, Chief Justice Highburger presiding. Whether you agree with it or not, those are the current state of facts and the current law in the United States of America.

Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

bd: "You cannot undermine State laws with local laws!"

Sure you can.
Its called home rule.
Its written into the Kansas Constitution. Article 12, Section 5.

Rationalanimal 7 years, 10 months ago

"Uh-huh. So we've had, what - two thousand years to "change"?

Wow, you just destroyed me on that one.

notsobright 7 years, 10 months ago

George- exactly, you got it! Being born a certain way is no basis for morality and resultant law.

Mod-ks- noone has to be "taught" to hate-think about it. Nobody is taught to steal, lust, hate. . .It is the opposite. This is why we have laws- to force human nature to align with that which is moral. Now a case could be made that there are environments that wrongly encourage or reinforce immoral behavior- but such is the current debate for our future. Do we, as a society, want to be that environment that tells our children that marriage really means nothing since anyone can define it any way they please?

The current debate, like all law, is one over morality. In this free Republic, everyone gets their chance to make their case then the people vote. I completely agree that the pro-registry, pro-homosexual view should be heard and given its "day" for argument. However, it already has been, and the people of the state of Kansas have already voted. Done deal- until you can make a better case and convince the majority, in addition to a case that moral natural law has been violated.

Rationalanimal 7 years, 10 months ago

Jamesaust

Again, your legal analysis is from the magical kingdom of the United States of the City of Lawrence. Local law does not preempt the soverignty of the State of Kansas. You and Jafs apparently are taking the same law classes taught by C.J. Highburger.

ksdivakat 7 years, 10 months ago

Ok let me say this first, I wish people would stop talking about the "The virtues of the marriage institution ", wake up! Marriage hasnt been a virtuous institution for some time, we have the bachelor, and the bachlorette, we have who wants to marry a millionaire and who wants to marry a dwarf, so the "santity" of marriage is out the window in this day and age, times change...people dont, youll never convince me that this country takes marriage seriously or virtiously, now i believe some people do, and thats ok, but the argument that marriage is virtious is outplayed when we turn on the tv almost nightly to see who is hooking up with who and for how much money! If your marriage is virtious then good for you, but the truth of the matter is we are a self serving society and its all about me me me! So, you cant consider someone elses feelings when your so wrapped in your own stuff. THis is how we have raised our children, they too are greedy and selfish, and thus society will progress in this manner. Now, the issue is how to deal with that? Thats what im looking for? How do you deal with this issue and reach as many people as you can in a positive light about it and get results instead of sitting on a chair somewhere whining about your rights. In case youve never read the patriot act, get a clue, none of us have any rights anymore, so lets deal with whats really going on, and that is that everyone wants to be treated the same. Thats it and thats all, so what is the best course to accomplish that??

zimmerman 7 years, 10 months ago

This seems like such a no-brainer to me. The church doesn't like homosexuality, and because Kansas is such a religious state--- even though most Kansans wouldn't like to admit it--- they really don't give a damn if homosexuals rights are taken away (or in this case--never given to in the first place). The whole "keeping the sanctity of the institution of marriage"---I mean come on, are you kidding me? Are we children here? How can you really justify taking away someone's ability to do something, just because it changes the meaning of a word or concept in your own mind. I'm sorry but that's just silly and selfish. As far as a domestic registry goes-- it has nothing to do with giving gay people the right to be married. So there's definitely no "sanctity of marriage" argument there.
All these people are trying to do is live their lives and be given the same privileges and rights as everyone else. If you think homosexuality is wrong that's your own business. But you can't try and tell me it has any real impact on you besides making you uncomfortable. If these people are sinning, then let the god you believe in judge them. I know that Jesus was quite clear in his teachings on tolerance, but for some reason tolerance seems to be the last thing most christians want to talk about.

Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

Rational - Quoting the state Constitution is not "legal analysis." And, I note, you make no attempt to dispute the Constitution (so what's your beef?).

"Local law does not preempt the soverignty of the State of Kansas."

I have no idea what this means to you. But let me re-state the point again:

The State of Kansas in exercise of its SOVEREIGN authority has CEDED to LOCALITIES a right to deviate from all state laws that the Legislature has not expressly restricted (i.e., made uniform throughout Kansas). Zoning laws are not uniform, ergo, the City of Lawrence is free to amend or supplement as they will. (This part is "legal analysis" although most of us call it "the ability to read".)

The process is no different than the recent alteration to Sunday liquor sales laws. Sunday liquor sales may be banned - anytime the Legislature wants to pass a uniform, state-wide liquor law. (Note: they do not wish to do so, ergo, the City may adopt any variance they wish.)

This isn't difficult to understand for anyone making an effort. There's really no gray in the principle and there's not much gray in the application of that principle to this subject.

Trekkie 7 years, 10 months ago

you know, I wish it was a law that required everyone who divorces to fill out a reason for divorce, and one of the options would be identifying that evil gay couple down the street that destroyed the marriage

It wasn't too long ago you'd see people waving a bible around saying it said african americans were inferior. They just found a new group to hate.

If these bigots really want to defend marriage, make divorce illegal. That's what's killing marriage, not the gay couple down the street.

JM Andy 7 years, 10 months ago

Energy needs to be put into having the Kansas Human Rights Commission cover homosexuality in the state law banning discrimination in the areas of employment and housing. Then all the rest should fall into place. Yes folks, CIVIL UNION is a CIVIL RIGHT (just not in Kansas or most of the US, yet).

ksdivakat 7 years, 10 months ago

Thats interesting stops4, could you please direct me to that passage in the constitution where civil unions are a civil right? Im being serious too, not a smartazz, im curious and want to go read it for myself! Thanks...

zimmerman 7 years, 10 months ago

hawkperchedatriverfront--- Either you don't understand the idea behind a domestic partnership registry or you're being intentionally dishonest in your statements implying that a registry would somehow impose more controls on local business and therefore would somehow hurt Lawrence's economy.
It has been said before already, but I'll say it again. All a domestic partnership registry would do is give a gay couple a document that might (not force their employers to) get them benefits. It's just an official way to say "we're together". That's all. Now really this is a very small concession to make for this group of people who are just trying to get a fraction of the rights that the rest of us have.
There are those who say this registry is a waste of government time because it doesn't really do enough-- but come on man. If no one's willing to give homosexuals a piece of the pie, don't take away the few crumbs that they might be able to scrounge up with this--- then, you know, possibly, we could maybe move on to, at some point, getting around to treating them like everyone else.

deec 7 years, 10 months ago

Marriage and its definition has changed and evolved over time. Please stop pretending one boy-one girl for the purpose of making babies has ever been the sole reason for marriage. Traditionally, marriage was the transfer of property (women and their stuff if they had any) to the husband. Marriage has included various forms of multi-person arrangements. The Old Testament is chock full of guys with wives and girlfriends on the side. "There appeared to be many marriages taking place without witness or ceremony in the 1500's. The Council of Trent was so disturbed by this, that they decreed in 1563 that marriages should be celebrated in the presence of a priest and at least two witnesses. Marriage took on a new role of saving men and women from being sinful, and of procreation. Love wasn't a necessary ingredient for marriage during this era." http://marriage.about.com/cs/generalhistory/a/marriagehistory.htm

Rationalanimal 7 years, 10 months ago

"The State of Kansas in exercise of its SOVEREIGN authority has CEDED to LOCALITIES a right to deviate from all state laws that the Legislature has not expressly restricted"

==================================

It is no wonder many of you believe you live in the United States of the City of Lawrence.

Sorry Jamesaust, you are just absolutely dead wrong on your final conclusion. The home rule power is not an unqualified cession of power, it is a qualified delegation of power subject to state sovereignty, their is a big difference. Home rule power ends when it conflicts with Kansas' general laws.

Taking directly from Article 12, section 5, subsection (a) of the Kansas Constitution: the cities powers under home rule are effective "until superseded by general law and such existing laws shall not be subject to charter ordinance."

State preemption is very alive in Kansas and city regulations have been struck down by it.

A city registry designed with an intent to impliedly recognize a homosexual relationship as a governmentally sanctioned union conflicts with the Kansas Constitution defining marriage between a man and a woman. The marriage amendment regulates the field of what are governmentally recognizable unions in the State of Kansas.

State preemption is not a difficult thing to understand when one is not trying to make it mean something more than it does.

notsobright 7 years, 10 months ago

zimmer- "Jesus was quite clear in his teachings on tolerance"
He sure was, but don't use his teachings to re-enforce your errouneous view of such. Tolerance assumes a deviation from that which is right and good. The modern notion that it means everyone does as they want, and we all accept it is the "opposite" of what true tolerance is. In fact, tolerance ceases to exist if there is no standard.

I would guess the reason for your post is you would disagree with someone like me. But will you live consistent with your definition of tolerance and "tolerate" me? Most here, do not and result to name calling, i.e. a bigot.

Jesus' point was that we ALL have a depraved and broken nature- even if some think they clean themselves up better than others. That means whether you are pro-homosexual or not- we are all in the same boat and you are welcome at my house for dinner any time. However, this doesn't excuse us from our actions and we are all in need of forgiveness.

The "tolerance" card being played today does not fit the real world we live in.

Rationalanimal 7 years, 10 months ago

""Uh-huh. So we've had, what - two thousand years to "change"?

Wow, you just destroyed me on that one."

Well, um - your premise is just that stupid.

===================================

Ok, you really got me that time, I don't know how much more of your razor sharp logic I can take. As an aside, your second response logically implies your first response was "stupid."

Rationalanimal 7 years, 10 months ago

Scenebooster, take a moment and breath, I didn't call you "stupid," your response implied that. I meant no malice. I was merely pointing out the logic to be helpful. Not that this is relevant to my initial post, but please define what you mean by "response" and "premise."

I think I understand your original response now. I think you meant that history has shown that human beings are prone to change. I agree whole heartedly with that. History is one record after another of cultures in ethical flux. Probably the best and most recent example was Germany during the Nazi era and then after. What the world saw was not the institution of law and its aspirations to justice flawed, but the agency of men and women imposing bad ethics on the law. So, I agree with you, human beings, and most importantly, their virtues, can and do change. Institutions (i.e. marriage, or the rule of law) and the virtues therein remain independent of human beings. Accordingly, it is bad agency of human beings that needs attention, not the institution of marriage.

Rationalanimal 7 years, 10 months ago

"there is no need to seek "forgiveness", for homosexuality or anything else."

If that is true, then there was nothing inherently wrong with what the Nazi's did.

I don't think you completely agree with what your saying sceenebooster.

denak 7 years, 10 months ago

".....The broader issue is indeed rights - in Loving vs. Virginia, the US Supreme Court ruled that "marriage is a fundamental civil right"."

I think you are misinterpreting Loving vs Virginia. Mr. and Mrs Loving were childhoold sweethearts. I believe Mrs. Loving was African-American and Mr. Loving was Caucasian. Against the wishes of their parents, who feared that their children would be targets in the Jim Crow era, Mr. and Mrs Loving married. However, Mr. and Mrs. Loving could only live in the "black" section of town because interracial couples were seen as "unnatural" and white landlords would not rent to them because interracial marriages were not seen as valid because of African-American's "natural" inferority. This discrimination was law.

The Supreme Court struck down that arguement and laws prohibiting individuals from marrying.

The same rationale the Supreme Court used to support Mr. and Mrs. Loving is the same rationale that should be used to support "gay" marriage.

Marriage is a fundemental right. It should be entered into freely and without duress. A person should be able to marry the individual of his or her choice even if that person is of a different color, sect, race, religion, nationality, heritage etc.

It is against the 14th amendment to discriminate against certain individuals and to not extend equal rights and equal protection under the law.

Dena:0)

Rationalanimal 7 years, 10 months ago

But, mass murder of the Jews was condoned in Nazi Germany. So, by your own standard, what is legal and illegal, you are committed to the position that what the Nazi's did was perfectly acceptable.

Rationalanimal 7 years, 10 months ago

Selling slaves was legal, I gues that was ok then. So as long as a law says something is ok, well, then I can sell whomever or shoot whomever I want. In any event, so what. Why is illegal and legal relevant at all in your ethical model anyway. Under a non-transcendental ethical model, the rule of law is whomever is in power. Power is the barrel of the gun according the great communist revolutionist. Your revolution isn't any better than mine so long as I can out shoot you. So, without a transcendent model of ethics, your left with the barrel of the gun. There is simply no way around it. Be careful sceenebooster, your cutting your self off at the knees here, because, you are contradicting your argument that gays have inherent rights with rights are whatever is legal.

Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

"Taking directly from Article 12, section 5, subsection (a) of the Kansas Constitution: the cities powers under home rule are effective "until superseded by general law and such existing laws shall not be subject to charter ordinance."

You completely misstate this provision by leaving out it core, which was cited already. What you cite is not relevant NOW because the Legislature HAS set general laws for cities. In other words, your citation is an implemenation clause that addresses the laws 'on the books' BEFORE the amendment was passed (which you either cleverly or stupidly cut out by starting your citation at the word "until" - I don't know you so I can't tell whether you don't know what your doing or whether you do but you hope to fool those who don't know themselves.). Anyway, the ENTIRE text can be found here: http://www.skyways.org/KSL/ref/constitution/art12.html

"A city registry designed with an intent to impliedly recognize a homosexual relationship as a governmentally sanctioned union ..."

Now you're just making things up. The City is setting and applying their zoning policy, which requires in part that the City determine what is a 'household,' what is a 'single family,' etc. YOU may believe whatever you want about the "true" intention of the City (you might even be correct). But setting zoning policy requires the exercise of judgement and cities do it all the time, and the State has ceded that to the City.

The Kansas Supreme The Court has ruled that matters cannot be preempted by implication but must be made expressly. Indeed, you adoption of the word "preemption" and focus on "sovereignty" is a vestige of the situation BEFORE the home rule amendment (see Kline v. Wyandotte Co. for an exhaustive explanation of this). It is exactly the situation the home rule amendment was created to avoid. Lawrence or any other city in Kansas doesn't need Big Brother Topeka to tell them how to run their business; the folks in the Statehouse have conceeded they don't know any more about local zoning than the locals do.

To quote the Supreme Court of Kansas: "Following the adoption of home rule, the legislature can preempt the field either by enacting a uniformly applicable statute or by stating in the statute that the power to regulate is vested exclusively in the state, and any ordinance in conflict with or contrary to the statute shall be null and void." What the State cannot do is reserve to itself part but not all of its sovereign power on a subject; doing same makes the law NON-uniform. And there is no state zoning statute that states what you wish it said.

You're the one who is dead wrong.
(And you're free to cite the Supreme Court to the contrary if you want - just don't 'selectively' take words out of their context. If you can't cite the Court, then there's no point to respond as you've clearly incorrect.)

zimmerman 7 years, 10 months ago

notsobright--- I do tolerate you. I might disagree with you, but I'm not going to take your rights away. That's all I'm saying. Tolerance doesn't mean that you have to ignore that you disagree with a certain lifestyle. It just means that you don't persecute someone for it. I don't like the fact that a good portion of our society spends four hours a day in front of the television, but I'm not going to treat them like second class citizens because of it. Do you really think Jesus would want to prevent someone from having health care? As far as calling you a bigot, I'm sorry if I offended you, but a bigot is someone who treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance, and that's what I feel like you're doing. I realize the world isn't black and white, and a lot of people who feel the same way you do are very far from what I would call evil or even mean. Hell, I'm not even saying I'm not bigoted sometimes, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't call each other on it when it happens.
So I guess according to you--- the "tolerance card" is not applicable to the real world we live in, but I really feel like that's a philosophy built on laziness. Tolerance is not always an easy thing to practice, but saying it has no real world relevance seems pretty extreme.

Rationalanimal 7 years, 10 months ago

"By the way, if homosexuality is wrong, I'd heartily suggest that you take off your shirt, and check the tag.

I'd be willing to bet that you sinned this morning just by getting dressed."

What do you mean?

Rationalanimal 7 years, 10 months ago

And pray tell, what does domestic registry that is totally optional have to do with zoning Jameaust.

JM Andy 7 years, 10 months ago

ksdivakat -- you missed the last piece... (just not in Kansas or most of the US, yet).

I hope to one day soon be able to direct you to our Bill of Rights!

Let's remember, there was a time when women in our country could vote per our constitution. African-Amercian people were property and had virtually no rights. The Bill of Rights is about change. AMENDMENTS. We evolve as a society (hopefully) as we come to understand that ALL people are equal--even women, African-Amercians, and homosexuals.

JM Andy 7 years, 10 months ago

This is where is needs to start, folks (see below). And, of course, on a national level as well. Unfortunately, without public input, the current commission make-up will not pursue covering homosexuality on it's own. This commission, for the most part, only deals aggressively with the issue of race. Right now it's little more than a puppet regime. The Governor needs to be lobbied and a bill introduced to MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN.

THE KANSAS ACT AGAINST DISCRIMINATION 44-1001. Title of act; declaration of state policy and purpose. This act shall be known as the Kansas act against discrimination. It shall be deemed an exercise of the police power of the state for the protection of the public welfare, safety, health and peace of the people of this state. The practice or policy of discrimination against individuals in employment relations, in relation to free and public accommodations or in housing by reason of race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin or ancestry or in housing by reason of familial status is a matter of concern to the state, since such discrimination threatens not only the rights and privileges of the inhabitants of the state of Kansas but menaces the institutions and foundations of a free democratic state. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the state of Kansas to eliminate and prevent discrimination in all employment relations, to eliminate and prevent discrimination, segregation, or separation in all places of public accommodations covered by this act, and to eliminate and prevent discrimination, segregation or separation in housing. It is also declared to be the policy of this state to assure equal opportunities and encouragement to every citizen regardless of race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin or ancestry, in securing and holding, without discrimination, employment in any field of work or labor for which a person is properly qualified, to assure equal opportunities to all persons within this state to full and equal public accommodations, and to assure equal opportunities in housing without distinction on account of race, religion, color, sex, disability, familial status, national origin or ancestry. It is further declared that the opportunity to secure and to hold employment, the opportunity for full and equal public accommodations as covered by this act and the opportunity for full and equal housing are civil rights of every citizen.

white_mountain 7 years, 10 months ago

I don't understand the whole "protect" the heterosexual family argument..

How does domestic partnership prevent heterosexuals from getting married??

Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

"what does domestic registry that is totally optional have to do with zoning"?

Hello? I assumed you were conversant on the subject, which is amendment to the Lawrence's Land Development Code. In it, 20-1701 is amended to include "registered domestic partnership" in the definition of "family," which is a definitional term affecting much of the City's zoning policy (e.g., "single family" housing). You do realize Lawrence has an ordinance limiting the number of unrelated people living under the same roof in rental housing? You do realize the City has to adopt policies for things like sororities? shelters? etc.

Can you build a duplex in a single-family zoned area? No, you have multiple unrelated people living in the same structure. What if the people are "domestic partners"? Right now, unamended that doesn't fit the zoning and is prohibited. The City wants to change its definition. And if the City wants to include in its definitions "domestic partners" then they have to have some way of defining this? Its ZONING, not marriage. Marriage is certainly a defined term in Kansas. But marriage is hardly the only "family" under the City's ordinance. Are single people a "family"? Yes. Is a single-parent with child a "family"? Yes. Is a "domestic partnership" a "family"? Not yet. Are people 'shacking up' under what we used to call a "common law marriage" a family? Not yet.

Seriously, you've been commenting and commenting and you didn't even know what you were commenting on? Seriously? No wonder you were so focused on psychoanalyzing the "true" intent of the City. Buddy, if the City amends their zoning ordinance, the plain and obvious "intent" is to amend their zoning ordinance. The State allows the City to write whatever zoning ordinance they want, which is why every City has their own. And under the Kansas Constitution, if the State doesn't want cities writing their own zoning ordinance, then the only way to do that is to write a state-wide uniform zoning statute. Period.

Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

"They have absolutely nothing to do with hospital visitation, medical decision authorization, or insurance eligibility."

The City has no power over things like insurance eligibility. Those are decided by third-parties. Where is there anything in the ordinance about medical stuff?

Insist on what you will but we're still waiting on anything that says the City can write their zoning laws however they will.

notsobright 7 years, 10 months ago

So, what is it this registry is suppose to do? Some say prevent discrimination. Discrimination from what? I say have your partnership. Like I posted above, why not two men, three women, a dog , and a horse? Have what ever you want. Just realize that it is not marriage. If a business wants to support your other man, three woman, dog and horse,- that is up to them.

It is interesting to consider that in some strange way these "partnerships" want to "look" and "act" like a marriage. I wonder why they even want to resemble a marriage. Could it be that marriage between a man and a woman is the natural and obviously transcendent standard?

Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

notsobright: you seem to have things backwards. It is interesting how much those who want to claim "marriage" want the freedom to not be married.

What's this with 'unmarriage' (a/k/a, divorce)? How can anyone with an option to be unmarried claim that they are truly married? "To death" as I remember the vow, not "to the point we get bored with it."

What's this with wives not being the property of their husbands? They were their father's property and then ... what? That's not real, "traditional" marriage.

How is it that adultery isn't a crime? Real marriage "forsakes all others" and with a vengeance - time in the pokey!

How is it that all these "marriages" aren't producing children right and left? How to do you have contraceptives and still claim you have "marriage"? How can government allow the obscenity of "married" couples not producing any children? How can government step in the way of Biblical "marriage" that includes concubines?

No, no. The really "interesting" thing to consider is how much people want 'marriage-lite' rather than traditional marriage - marriage most commonly practiced among people over the millennia. Nope, surprise! Majorities pass laws to aid themselves while denying the same to minorities. Our society in law and practice has continually and will continually redefine "marriage" whether you like it or not.

white_mountain 7 years, 10 months ago

I'd say divorce, adultery, and vegas-style tie-ups are more of a "threat" to marriage.. and if you want to get biblical about it, I'm pretty sure at least the first 2 of those are against God's orders (not sure he cares about what happens in vegas though)

Can anyone explain what we are "protecting" heterosexual marriage from anyway?

white_mountain 7 years, 10 months ago

Oh yea, and anti-gay ministers who have sex with gay crack whores are also a threat to marriage..

notsobright 7 years, 10 months ago

J: I missed something. . . ??? Sorry. . . as my name suggests I am not so bright often. I have never posted my views on marriage beyond this one point; that marriage is between a man and a woman. I certainly have many other concerns and issues in regards to marriage/divorce etc. That is for another day. . .

meadowbreeze 7 years, 10 months ago

Biology 101

Anyone can 'do' it with anyone or anything as long as the parts fit.

Biology 102

Man + woman = child.

Anthropology 101

Marriage is a social and cultural custom that has little to do with Biology.

Anthropology/Sociology 102

Marriage is defined culturally as two or more people in a social contract.

Lots of cultures and societies define marriage in terms of Religion.

Religion 101

There are many religions in the world your parents never told you about.

Religions define marriage in many diverse ways, including marriages of convenience.

Ant/Soc 501 (no undergrads allowed)

In such and such a place they do so and so to whatshis/hername, but don't ever tell your parents. Wanna see some pictures? (pictures borrowed from the course National Geographic 101)

Law 101

Marriage is a legal contract. So is your business agreement.

Contracts are defined by the state.

There is freedom of religion in the U.S.A.

Law 102

Religions may not run the state denying others the basic benefits of society, such as contracts.

Oh and et cetera ... too bad they don't teach these things at K.U. But then again, the world is only 6,000 years old and we're in Kansas. Which, thankfully is flat, or we'd all fall off.

Folks, there is no need for academic courses here, just tolerance, love and a kind open heart.

7 years, 10 months ago

You should know you're making an incredibly desperate argument when you think you have to liken gay people to animals to "prove" that we cannot allow equal rights for homosexual individuals.

George_Braziller 7 years, 10 months ago

Sigh -

notsobright you just don't get it. It has NOTHING to do with marriage or divorce or children or religion or morality. A gay or lebian couple that has been together for ten, 30, or 50 years should at least be acknowledged for that time that they have been together.

compmd 7 years, 10 months ago

I feel like I've seen this discussion thread before.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Nobody learns anything anymore.

budwhysir 7 years, 10 months ago

I see a screen play in the near future. Third down and goal we will run a pass play and funble.

notsobright 7 years, 10 months ago

George- Yes "sigh"- once again you are caught in a real world. You state that this is not about morality. . .then in the same breath you say this "couple. . .SHOULD be at least acknowledged." "Should be" is a moral statement- somehow you think it is a moral good that a homosexual couple has been together and thus should be "acknowledged." You are now placing "your" view of morality on me. I ask "Why is it a moral good?" "Why 'should' they be acknowledged?" Further, "Why are you oppressing me by forcing your moral standard on me?"

Both history and natural law suggest it is not a moral good. I happen to agree with that assessment. That does NOT make me a bigot.

George- you live in a moral universe that has personality. This entire issue comes down to morality. YOU have to appeal to morality and absolute truth to try to disprove MY view of morality and truth. There is no way around it. In the end, both of our views can not be right.

Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

"Both history and natural law suggest it is not a moral good."

Oh?

I believe you've walked into the briar patch.

No, it does not make you a bigot. But what you say next might. Say goodnight, Gracie.

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