Archive for Monday, January 8, 2007

Domestic partnership registry would be 1st in state

Proposal could help gay or unmarried couples qualify for health care

January 8, 2007

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The noise coming from City Hall tonight won't be wedding bells.

But city commissioners at their weekly meeting may make noise heard across the state as they consider becoming the first Kansas community to legally recognize gay partnerships.

There appear to be at least two votes on the City Commission for creating a ordinance that would recognize gay partnerships. City Commissioner Boog Highberger said Monday that he supported the idea proposed last month by Commissioner Mike Rundle.

"I think this will help some people feel they are full citizens," Highberger said.

The proposal would create a domestic partnership registry, where gay couples could register their partnership with the city clerk's office. Under a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2005, gay marriage is illegal in Kansas.

Rundle proposed the idea of a domestic partnership registry after gay and lesbian advocates said they thought it would send a strong symbolic message of tolerance and would help domestic partners qualify for health care benefits at their partner's workplace.

The registry also could be open to heterosexual couples who have chosen not to marry.

But whether the idea will find the necessary third vote on the commission isn't yet known. Mayor Mike Amyx and Commissioner David Schauner both said Monday that they hadn't yet formed an opinion on the proposal.

"I'm not really leaning one way or another on this at the moment," Amyx said. "I guess I'm trying to look into the future a little bit and ask where a change like this may take us in the future."

Stephen Maceli speaks on domestic partnerships

Interview with Stephen Maceli, owner of the local restaurant "Maceli's", on domestic partnerships and health benefits. Enlarge video

Amyx, Highberger, Schauner and Rundle will be the four commissioners considering the proposal tonight. Commissioner Sue Hack is out of town and is not scheduled to participate in the meeting. She was unavailable for comment Monday.

The domestic partnership registry would not automatically grant the legal rights that married couples have to gay or lesbian couples. The registry also would not automatically require the city or private employers to begin offering health care benefits to employees' domestic partners as granted for spouses.

But supporters of the ordinance have said they hope that once a registry is in place, city commissioners will start offering health benefits to domestic partners of city employees.

City staff members also were not able to rule out the possibility that some people may try to use the existence of a registry to garner benefits from their private employers.

In addition, city staff members said it was difficult to say whether a Kansas court would uphold the constitutionality of a domestic partnership registry.

Cities in several other Midwestern states have successfully created a domestic partnership registry. They include Kansas City, Mo.; Iowa City, Iowa; Boulder, Colo.; and Madison, Wis.

Highberger said he decided to support the proposal after reviewing it enough to become confident that it could be upheld in court. Highberger, though, does expect some public opposition.

"I don't see this as an attack or threat on anyone's marriage," Highberger said. "I suspect there are some people who will find this offensive, and I regret that. But I think if we are really going to consider ourselves a tolerant and diverse community, this is something we need to do."

Commissioners will meet at 6:35 tonight at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.

Comments

KS 8 years, 3 months ago

Newell_Post - And who do you think is going to pay for your proposed healthcare system? You will, via taxes, assuming you pay any. That is you and me. I already pay taxes and I pay for my healthcare. Do you pay for both or are you looking for a free ride?

Jeff Barclay 8 years, 3 months ago

Maybe Amyx will be the voice of reason. All this sounds compassionate, maybe even "constitutional," but I do not see the long-term consequences of this as doing anything except cost Lawrence thousands of dollars in court. I hope this ordinance fails because the voice of reason prevails.

gabbo 8 years, 3 months ago

praguer, First, Marion is a man, and he thinks himself very handsome at that(see rivertalk.org). Second, his opinion isn't linear, and needn't be thought of as a viable option. It is of a libertarian-ish narco that is pro-life only to the point that it is creepily religious to the dracula-edsel buying set. Lawrence will serve as a model to not only Kansas cities, but the Midwest.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

Holla! This is an incredible display of tolerance by the city and defiance to the bigotry of those who voted for the marriage amendment. Thank you City Commission.

Newell_Post 8 years, 3 months ago

If we had a coherent public health system in this country (like most other civilized nations) health care benefits wouldn't be an issue since everybody would be covered whether married, single, LGBT, etc. The government should stay OUT of a LOT of things. But the one thing they should get into is real, meaningful universal coverage. Even the Republican Governator of California has recently moved in this direction.

cowboy 8 years, 3 months ago

where does this stop , if rights are granted to gay partners do you then have to grant it to roomates ? Seems that if you legally establish rights for a non-married couple you then would be forced to extend to long term roomates or you are discriminating. Ok 600 members of the ACLU educate us on this one. One would think that a decent lawyer could draw up the appropriate paperwork to allow gay couples full rights and privledges to handle each others biz

By the way I agree with Newell our health care sytem is a scam of the highest degree.

jayhuck 8 years, 3 months ago

Cowboy -

Rights are being given to gay couples because they aren't available elsewhere - there are many, many gay couples who can't afford to pay a lawyer for the time it would take to draw up all the necessary documents that would provide maybe 1/2 of the benefits that straight couples get for free just by marrying.

praguer 8 years, 3 months ago

The City Hall report on domestic partnership is worth reading. It seems that registry and rewriting of city codes would allow domestic partners to live together in a home without fear of violating certain city codes. I don't believe most roommates could qualify for the registry since most would lack some kind of joint ownership of vehicles or bank accounts. Those who argue that it is unknown how the Kansas Supreme Court would rule are correct -- it's an issue of first impression for them, which is why we have courts -- to interpret these laws and settle legal disputes. As for Marion's concern for the LGBT cause, her stated concern rings false to me. I can't imagine how a ruling by the Courts against the registry could hurt the LGBT cause -- either the registry is found to be valid and it stands, or it is found to be invalid, and there is no registry, which puts us right back where we are today -- with no domestic partner registry. Hopefully the Commissioners will realize the great significance of their actions in a city that many LGBT Kansans call home and take this step forward.

applefarmer 8 years, 3 months ago

Oh give me a break, the commission just needs to keep out ot it. This is just another chest thumping show of look what e can do in our city.

MrMister 8 years, 3 months ago

JayHuck, The rights of marriage are not free. Just ask anyone who is married.

Kelly Powell 8 years, 3 months ago

Gabbo: Regardless of his opinions on other matters, marion brought up a valid concern......A personal attack on the messenger and not the message put's you in a negative light.

bd 8 years, 3 months ago

Don't they have more important things to work on? Living wage, homeless issues,east lawrence, the enviroment,SLT etc....

DaREEKKU 8 years, 3 months ago

KS-

I'm already paying taxes for straight people to have rights that gay people are not granted so frankly I'm having a very difficult time with that whole tax argument. Based on that argument maybe gay people should pay less taxes since less rights are granted, and the list goes on. I think the Domestic Partnership registry should have more rights/protection than they are actually proposing. As of now I have not seen one valid reason to deny this registry or for gays to be denied the legal protections afforded to straight married people by the government.

jayhuck 8 years, 3 months ago

MrMister -

You missed my point - gay couples, unlike straight couples, have the added financial stress of visiting a lawyer several times to figure out what paperwork needs to be filled out, and then to get it filled out appropriately, all to only receive less than 1/2 of the benefits that most people get simply by marrying - it is a completely unjust system that favors a certain group of people simply because of their orientation, and not because they are fit for the institution or even for parenting.

cowboy 8 years, 3 months ago

jayhuck , Complete BS argument , do you honestly think that married folk never have to use a lawyer , your better off filing separate taxes , simple powers of attorney take care of most things , they cost little to implement , the only benefit here that i can see is one person gets on the others health insurance.

To quote the redneck comedian " I think gay couples should be able to get married so they can be as miserable as the rest of us "

Have a good day folks

jayhuck 8 years, 3 months ago

cowboy -

you apparently don't understand just what one visit to a lawyer costs - nor do you seem to understand thatgay couples, no matter how often they visit a lawyer, will never be able to get most of the benefits that straight couples get simply by marrying - nor are you getting that gay couples shouldn't have to jump through hoops that straight couples don't have to - many gay couples can't even afford one visit to a lawyer, much less the money required to get the necessary documents filled out that would give them less than 1/2 the benefits straight couples get by marrying

Newell_Post 8 years, 3 months ago

KS:

FYI, I am a Republican businessman, although a moderate one. Last year I personally paid over $200,000 in Federal income taxes. I also paid about $75,000 in health care insurance premiums for my employees. As I said, I think the government should stay out of a lot of things, but the one thing it should get into is universal health care coverage. I would much rather pay more in taxes (and less in premiums) to see everyone covered, and not worry about loss of coverage, COBRA, pre-existing conditions, epidemics, etc.

When the subject of universal coverage comes up in DC, it is the HMOs and insurance companies who bribe the pols (...sorry, "give campaign contributions"...) to oppose it, not business or labor.

I lived in England for a while, and their NHS system has many problems. But if you get hit by a bus in England, you will get adequate care regardless of your employment or marital status. I am told that one of the Commonwealth countries (Australia? New Zealand?) has a two-tiered system where the basic coverage is VERY basic, but it is universal. If you want to "upgrade" to fancier hospitals, more specialists, etc. you can buy a private policy for same. That sould like a good idea to me.

cowboy 8 years, 3 months ago

i agree with Marion that the city level is not the place for this fight.

Jayhuck , you posted the same argument as before , help me out here , besides SS survivor rights and health care , what exactly can you not accomplish with some simple legal forms ? Anybody can afford a lawyer if it is a PRIORITY , most of it is online today anyway if you care to find it and file it.

jayhuck 8 years, 3 months ago

But I agree with the redneck comedian you quoted - gay couples SHOULD be allowed to marry so that they can be as miserable as the rest of you - That is true! And, btw, I know straight couples that have never felt the need to visit a lawyer regarding their marriage.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm shocked that Rundle is supporting this idea...oh wait, it's a selfish decision on his part. I forgot. My bad.

This is going to open up a huge can of worms. People are going to be registering their roomates and friends just so they can get health insurance. Talk about potential for taking advantage of the system.

The state doesn't recognize gay marriage, but Lawrence wants to pretend to by doing this? It's like OJ getting off for murder but then losing huge in civil court. The two decisions should swing the same way.

jayhuck 8 years, 3 months ago

cowboy -

This site doesn't include all the 1,400 some rights given to married couples, but its a good place to start - and you keep missing the point - gay couples shouldn't be treated differently - they shouldn't have to go see a lawyer to fill out these papers - they shouldn't be made to have to jump through extra hoops just to get married:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/mar_bene.htm

countrygirl 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm puzzled as to how this registry is going to help. Are major companies going to suddenly decide to change their policy on providing coverage to same sex couples just because of this? I just doubt that a big corperation is going to care what the city Lawrence says about this.

betti81 8 years, 3 months ago

okay, two quick things...

  1. if this registry works like some of the others, roommates would not register. to "unregister" as a domestic partner, would be like going through a divorce. assest would be split, custody battle, etc. (Since i can't seem to find info about the specifics of the proposed registry--not sure if this would apply, but it is a good way to avoid paranoia claims-much like the ones Agnostic debunked).

  2. Many big corporations and I believe a couple of businesses in Lawrence offer benefits to domestic partners. The problem is, how to prove you are a domestic partner. This registry would make it easier to prove the partnership to get the already offered benefits, not force companies to offer the benefits in the first place.

my two cents for now...

Dale Stringer 8 years, 3 months ago

Hummm... would sorority/fraternity presidents get to claim Head of Household? At least a few student would get a tax break then.

Dale Stringer 8 years, 3 months ago

Hummm... would sorority/fraternity presidents get to claim Head of Household? At least a few students would get a tax break then.

NorthLawrenceDude 8 years, 3 months ago

I hope the city does this. Kansas City Mo did it , and it is working quite well. The reason for this is because most insurance companies want PROOF that you are domestic partners. This registrey will fill that obligation for many couples. This is very important, and a step in the right direction. I just wish Sue Hack were going to be present tonight, for I am fairly sure she would vote in FAVOR of this. I think Mike Amyx will vote for it, he is a smart and fair man.

thank you

Emily Hadley 8 years, 3 months ago

If granting unmarried couples ANY rights is an issue of excessive taxpayer cost, then shouldn't we also assume that employers hire gays so as to avoid paying any spousal benefits?
If that sounds silly, then so should the cost argument. Gays and lesbians can very easily marry just to defraud straight folks of their moral high ground and get legal benefits as well, as can any hetero couples, even without any love for one another. The truth of marriage is always only within the minds and hearts of those involved.

This would be an option for many of us who see recognized domestic partnership as more appealing than marriage, with all of marriage's religious overtones, gendered rituals, and institutionalized discrimination.

What a great way to show solidarity between all Lawrencians, regardless of orientation, and to show one's commitment to a partner without buying into heterosexual privilege.

I think a declaration of commitment that includes empathy, compassion, and consideration for others is a wonderful way to express love.

jayhuck 8 years, 3 months ago

Emily -

with all due respect for your opinion - which I do agree with - there are many gay couples that DO want the religious ceremony, that are people of faith, and that would appreciate not only the ability to call themselves married, but to do it in a church and to receive the same legal benefits that straight couples receive - and that should be their right, as it should be the right of others not to engage in this if they don't want to.

girly 8 years, 3 months ago

Well, if the city commission does decide to pass this gay registration for the benefit of 'a few', then I hope they treat themselves like they do everyone else, let them pay an impact fee to cover the cost of the registry!

Jamesaust 8 years, 3 months ago

While I think Marion has a point, I do not believe him to be correct.

Any lawsuit regarding such a registry would no doubt focus on the new amendment: "No relationship, other than a marriage, shall be recognized by the state as entitling the parties to the rights or incidents of marriage."

A) a lot depends on how broadly "right or incidents of marriage" is defined. I believe (for various reasons) that such a term would be NARROWLY defined by any court, e.g., a domestic partnership registry is not the equivalent of a marriage. (Broadly defining it interferes with all sorts of other relationships the state does want to allow.)

B) I'm not seeing how the state is "recognizing" anything to be the equivalent of marriage.

C) the only way someone can be "entitled" to something is via the courts but nothing in this City plan involves the courts at all

D) all of this could only be challenged in court by something with 'standing.' Other than our new Democrat AG, who exactly would have standing to file a lawsuit against the City of Lawrence for doing this? Who would have a particularized rather than general injury in fact caused by this registry? I'm uncertain who such a person would be.

jayhuck 8 years, 3 months ago

Marion -

To be honest, there are many gay marriages that take place every day in the state of kansas - churches that perform same-sex ceremonies and lawyers being used to draw up, at least in part, some of the benefits for these gay couples that straight couples get from marriage - So gay marriage isn't really being prohibited, its just that the state cannot sanction it - but just because a state does not sanction or support it does not mean it isn't happening

Jamesaust 8 years, 3 months ago

To those who seem to believe a contract or two, a signed power of attorney, etc. just solves all problems for couples, I suggest they spend some time working with the friends and family of unmarried persons in our military deployed overseas. You'd be shocked at how little can be done even with these items against a reluctant company or person short of filing a lawsuit. Who has the time and money to file lawsuits to accomplish typical legal tasks? Here's an example of this "useless" document: http://www.spousebuzz.com/blog/2006/10/the_meaningless.html

Indeed, if these substitutes were so useful, so easy, so inexpensive, then why oh why does our society grant all their accumulated privileges to married couples with a stroke of the pen?

Godot 8 years, 3 months ago

"Oh, and cowboy, jayhuck is right about the laywers, too. Maybe you've never been married, and don't know this.

When my wife and I were married, we had to get a license from the courthouse, and that's it. Think it cost all of $12 in 1991; then, there was the "optional" religious license signed by our pastor, and that was maybe $20. That's all we've ever had to do--no lawyer has ever been consulted for tax issues, benefits issues, medical issues, property issues etc. Generally, all we have to do check the correct box, or put an "X" on the correct line:"

If that is true, you are living on the edge. I hope nothing serious, health-wise, happens to either one of you before you get your papers in order.

jayhuck 8 years, 3 months ago

Godot -

that's the point - no papers have to be in order because that stuff is taken care of simply in the act of marrying - unless you're referring to something else and I'm misunderstanding you

Godot 8 years, 3 months ago

While the commish are at it, they should save time and approve this, as well. Got to keep up with Canada:

http://www.lawtimesnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=961&Itemid=82

NorthLawrenceDude 8 years, 3 months ago

Cool you are exactly right. Why throw in the Gay thing on this. There are many straight couples living together that can use this to get on Spousal insurance. We can look at this as "proof" of common law marriage. Can someone look up common law marriage in Ks and see what the requirements are? I think there is a long list of things that a couple must have to prove it. Maybe this registrey will suffice on the state level as well. Lets hope so!

EXks 8 years, 3 months ago

For the hysterical populace out there who are equating registered domestic partnerships with gay marriage, you're wrong!

The most significant DIFFERENCE between heterosexual marriage and civil unions (or domestic partnerships) is that only heterosexual marriage offers FEDERAL BENEFITS & PROTECTIONS.

According to the federal government's General Accounting Office (GAO), more than 1,100 rights and protections are conferred to U.S. citizens upon heterosexual marriage. Areas affected include Social Security benefits, veterans' benefits, health insurance, Medicaid, hospital visitation, estate taxes, retirement savings, pensions, family leave, and immigration law.

Because civil unions and domestic partnerships are NOT FEDERALLY recognized, any benefits available at the state or local level are subject to federal taxation. For example, a woman whose health insurance covers her female partner must pay federal taxes on the total employer cost for that insurance.

justthefacts 8 years, 3 months ago

Being honest, I personally think anyone who wants to marry anyone or anything (even pets) should get to do so. It's a private matter. For the most part (if you make someone ELSE do something as a result - e.g. give up some money to support such unions - then it becomes a matter of public interest).

However, currently, the laws of the statue and country, on things like insurance benefits and property rights, do not give unmarried persons co-equal rights. So, putting them on a silly city register is not going to change a single thing. It won't change property laws, constitutional laws, insurance laws, or employment laws. A city cannot, by ordinance, change or override the laws of the other jurisdictions.

So what would creating such a regitration list do that can legally not be done without it?

What about such lists. Will they be open records? Will some gay hater be able to obtain that list, and use it for purposes not related to being nice and kind?

The city commission is well advised to consider exactly what good this idea will promote, and all the unintended negatives it may instead create.

rockchalk77 8 years, 3 months ago

The concept of roommates registering is absurd. Most college kids have trouble paying rent on time, I seriously doubt hordes of them will be pouring over a city ordinance to find loopholes that will benefit them. Besides, most of the people in this town that have roommates are either covered by their family insurance from their parents, or aren't insured at all.

I also find it amusing that through my federal health insurance plan I am allowed to add a domestic partner if I so choose. Yep, the federal government is actually progressive about some things.

Of course, I think marriage as a government recognized institution should be abolished and should only be considered a religious ceremony. The government should ONLY recognize civil unions so everyone gets taxed equally, and every church gets its own say as to who they are willing to recognize as married.

jayhuck 8 years, 3 months ago

Marion -

If you are against the state regulating marriage, I'd be interested to know what you are going about doing to change that! I head alot of people use this as an excuse not to support gay marriage, yet many of these people still enjoy all the benefits of marriage while making these excuses not to support gay marriage - I make the assumption that if someone is truly against the state regulating marriage that they are indeed actively doing something to change this

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

It won't get shot down by a court, Marion, because it's breaking no law.

compmd 8 years, 3 months ago

interesting points betti. would municipal court handle such unregistrations? I doubt rundle thought that much, after all this is his pet, and it is an ordinance for himself. obviously, state courts are no place for this.

the potential for abuse I think is rather large, because there is only so much the city can do to you. seriously, what can they do if you lie on the registration other than fine you?

on the tax front, when (not if) a member of a registered couple checks "married" on a tax return, does that constitute fraud?

all this ordinance will do is screw up the economics of this town.

if we can point out so many flaws and unknowns, imagine what lawyers can do. rundle is happily building a bomb that's going blow up in his face.

preebo 8 years, 3 months ago

You can always count on Lawrence to be the only spot of tolerance and acceptance in this entire state. Thank you, Lawrence for keeping Kansas above states like Mississippi and Alabama.

Bladerunner 8 years, 3 months ago

Lots of Kansans are already laughing at Lawrence/Douglas County. Why not give them another reason?

I like girly's idea of the impact fee to cover the cost!

preebo 8 years, 3 months ago

That's not Kansans laughing at Lawrence, but everyone else laughing at Kansans. If you want to live in a state that doesn't respect peoples choices, and doesn't tolerate people of different lifestyles the move to the deep south. There you can walk around and freely associate with other Klan members.

Godot 8 years, 3 months ago

Agnostick wrote: "And an "impact fee" to cover the registry would be different from the fee for a marriage license... how?

Take a guess, anyone?"

The impact fee would need to cover the additional cost to the taxpayers for the healtcare benefits provided to the domestic partners of city employees.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 8 years, 3 months ago

Posted by rockchalk77 (anonymous) on January 9, 2007 at 12:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The concept of roommates registering is absurd. Most college kids have trouble paying rent on time, I seriously doubt hordes of them will be pouring over a city ordinance to find loopholes that will benefit them. Besides, most of the people in this town that have roommates are either covered by their family insurance from their parents, or aren't insured at all. ______-- What world do you live in where the only people who have roommates or live with someone of the same gender are college kids? There are tons of people of all ages that have to have roommates to afford to live. If you have two good friends living together and one of them is chronically sick, what would stop them from "playing" like they wanted a domestic union and then ultimately getting health insurance in what I would consider a con job (once it is approved that partners are eligible for bennies). You really think people would refrain from pulling that con job? Come on, pull your head out.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 8 years, 3 months ago

I'll be glad to play the role of travel agent for all of you supporters on here that are bitching and moaning about not being able to have a gay union or marriage. That's assuming you all care enough to get past the "talking" phase and actually go to Washington and do something. I'll be waiting for your calls, but I don't think my phone will be ringing off the hook.

daman 8 years, 3 months ago

This is DUMB!!! I don't want to waste my taxpayer dollars having the city commisssion discuss something that amounts to nothing more than a statement of tolerance. Get back to work you boneheads and stop wasting my money. I can't wait for Dever and Chestnut, boog and rundle pack up and move to boulder colorado where you two can hug trees, smoke weed and pay $400,000 for a one bedroom condo (because of the "no growth" policy instituted there years ago by people like yourselves).

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

Marion you keep mentioning violations in the Constitution, but how is this ordinance violating something in the Constitution which does not exist? This is not legalizing gay marriage in Lawrence, therefore the Constitution (and it's ludicrous amendment) are not being violated.

Where there is no empowering reference in the Constitution, there is also no reference DISempowering this. I don't know if disempowering is a word, but it's the best I can think of right now. To translate: The Constitution doesn't say a city can do this, it also doesn't say a city CAN'T do this.

bd 8 years, 3 months ago

can me and my pet goat register??????????????

MOVE ON !

Jamesaust 8 years, 3 months ago

bd -- The answer is no. A rarely quoted statue 39,003.330.3 forbids troglodytes and goats from marrying.

(just kidding)

Jamesaust 8 years, 3 months ago

"You see cities are empowered to do certain things by the related Constitution."

Marion, to answer for Tycoman,

cities are empowered to do anything not expressly forbidden. Nothing in our constitution nor in the statutes duly passed forbids this City to re-define "Family" within its own municipal code.

Indeed, the State is REQUIRED to reserve EXPRESSLY to itself any limitation it wants to make on local variances (Kline v. Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, 277 Kan. 516 (2004) [thank you Phill Kline] -- the exact opposite of your if "there is no empowering reference"); the State of Kansas has NOT done so and Lawrence is free to act - just like Douglas Co. did with its Sunday liquor sales, for example. This is a well-litigated right to "home rule" and GUARANTEED by the Kansas Constitution.

(Even if it did, someone would have to have standing to sue, which I'm still waiting for someone to explain who this mystery Plaintiff would be.)

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

Let's hope if there is a lawsuit then this very message board will be referenced since there are so many law experts ;)

bd 8 years, 3 months ago

troglodytes have rights too! why not goats!

Emily Hadley 8 years, 3 months ago

I still don't get how domestic partner benefits can be more expensive than spousal benefits.

Wouldn't they be less or equal?

Anyone?

Godot 8 years, 3 months ago

What portion of the cost of health insurance does the City of Lawrence pay 1) for employees, and 2) for their dependents?

Godot 8 years, 3 months ago

Never mind. I found it on the city web site. The city does not pay for the cost of dependent coverage. So, domestic partners would only gain the right to pay for their partners' insurance under the city's self insured plan.

I do not see how this is a benefit of the domestic partner registry, unless, of course, the domestic partner is unable to qualify for health insurance in the private market.

chocolateplease 8 years, 3 months ago

The insurance premiums, or level of coverage, or both are probably better through the city's contract than they are through the private market. So it would be a benefit.

I agree wholeheartedly with Newell that universal health care is what we need. Absolutely, and the sooner the better.

But we also need to have access to legal marriage for gay couples. Otherwise, how does the government go after the dead-beat dad who left the other dad with the kids? My point being that marriage will give rights but also responsibilities, and it's only a fair shake to let gay couples marry, if they so desire.

cowboy 8 years, 3 months ago

funny how the slurs start flying when a discussion is attempted , bite thy tongue slurrers !

classclown 8 years, 3 months ago

Posted by Marion (Marion Lynn) on January 9, 2007 at 4:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ya know it's pretty disingenuous and really crude to bring in beastaiality into otherwise legitimate discussions of gay marriage.

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

But what about all those poor gerbils?

Godot 8 years, 3 months ago

chocolateplease, thanks for pointing out this this issue is as much about money as anything else.

Follow the money.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

Godot it's mentioned several times in the article and by other posters that the registry is mainly symbolic, rather than practical.

Knock of the bestiality jokes, they're not funny.

Godot 8 years, 3 months ago

tychoman, Godot did not make any reference to bestiality, funny or not.

Godot 8 years, 3 months ago

Tychoman, Sir Rundle is quoted as saying that his proposal should make it easier for "domestic partners" to receive employer-provided benefits. Sir Rundle is the source.

Tychoman 8 years, 3 months ago

"Rundle proposed the idea of a domestic partnership registry after gay and lesbian advocates said they thought it would send a strong symbolic message of tolerance and would help domestic partners qualify for health care benefits at their partner's workplace."

It's not entirely symbolic, just for the most part. At least that's the way I see it. If it were mainly about the money, it would be a stronger motion, like some of the cities in Massachusetts did instead of just a domestic partner registry. It's mainly symbolic rather than monetary priority.

The bestiality remark was for the thread as a whole, not specific to you. My bad.

compmd 8 years, 3 months ago

none2, rundle proposed the ordinance and committed to spending city money to defend it. this was an open statement and is well documented and has been discussed. its his "feel good" ordinance.

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