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City Hall

Domestic partnership registry moves ahead

Commission stops short of approval but agrees to seek legal opinion from attorney general on program

January 10, 2007

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Barring any legal hurdles from the state, Lawrence is poised to become the first city in Kansas to legally recognize gay partnerships.

A majority of commissioners Tuesday night said they would support a program that would create a domestic partnership registry to provide legal recognition to gay couples who are barred by state law from marrying.

"I think this is an idea that doesn't hurt anyone," City Commissioner Boog Highberger said after hearing a half-dozen people speak in favor of the program and no one who opposed it.

But commissioners stopped short of formally approving the idea, which also would allow heterosexual couples who choose not to marry to register. Instead, they asked staff members to seek an opinion from new Attorney General Paul Morrison to determine whether the registry would violate a Kansas constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage.

Supporters pleased

Supporters of the registry, though, left City Hall pleased. Several said the fact no one came to the meeting to speak against the proposal showed Lawrence had become more open-minded about the issue of sexual orientation.

The registry is the first major issue dealing with gay rights since 1995 when the city passed an ordinance - despite outcries from an organized opposition group - that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"I think maybe people are recognizing that we are not a threat to anyone, and they realize that most of us are just regular guys and gals who want to live our lives and love who we love," said Maggie Childs, who is gay and the leader of a local group that is supporting the registry.

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 said the registry, which would be run by the city clerk's office, would help people involved in a domestic partnership provide the necessary documentation to show to employers who willingly offer health insurance benefits to partners of employees.

Bruce Ney, a Lawrence resident who is gay, told commissioners that he is employed by AT&T, which requires documentation from a government to prove that a domestic partnership exists before it will extend family benefits.

Other speakers said there were several Fortune 500 companies operating in Lawrence that offer the benefits to people who can show they're in a partnership.

Details to come

City Commissioner David Schauner, who earlier this week said he hadn't formed an opinion on the issue, said the number of large companies offering benefits to domestic partners swayed him.

"It seems shortsighted to deny those folks a benefit that their employers are willingly offering," Schauner said.

Details of a Lawrence registry would have to be developed by the city. The program likely would include a fee to cover its costs. It also would include specific requirements on what type of proof must be shown by a couple before they are considered domestic partners.

Schauner, Highberger and Commissioner Mike Rundle all said they supported creating the registry. Mayor Mike Amyx stopped short of that. He said the idea made some sense but wanted to hear from the attorney general's office before making a decision.

"I think we need to find out how broad of authority we have," Amyx said.

Commissioner Sue Hack was absent.

Commissioners did say they were not interested in requiring employers to begin offering health benefits to domestic partners.

'Welcome and anti-discrimination'

Rundle, who brought the issue to the commission, said he viewed it as "simply an extension of that sense of welcome and anti-discrimination" that the city has been promoting since it approved the ordinance in 1995 banning discrimination in matters of employment or housing based on sexual orientation.

Commissioners also didn't discuss whether the city should change its policy on offering benefits to the domestic partners of employees. Currently, the city does not do so. Several commissioners predicted the city would request information on that subject if a domestic registry is put in place.

City Manager David Corliss said he would have a conversation soon with the attorney general's office to determine how long it might take to receive an opinion on the matter.

City staff members have been doing research on the legality of such a registry, which has been used in several Midwest cities. Staff members said it was difficult to determine whether a Kansas court would find it legal given that the law had never been tested in the state.

"If it is drafted carefully, I believe it could withstand a challenge," said Toni Wheeler, the city's interim director of legal services.

Comments

commuter 7 years, 11 months ago

What does the city do?

I see the city being more restrictive to businesses.

Great. I wonder if Lawrence will be able to attract more larger compnaies because this oridnance will be in place?

chzypoof1 7 years, 11 months ago

This is SO great for Lawrence!! It will bring in more business, and attract better paying jobs. Heck, we might even just scrap the SLT, create more greenspace, and outlaw gasoline all too!!!

Oh wait, this is just a registry to KEEP TRACK of all the "partnerships" in our city.

It amazes me that when we, as a society, don't want to be racist/discriminate....we single people out for special treatment. Amazing.....

justthefacts 7 years, 11 months ago

Open record question; Can anyone who wants go and get a copy of this register, once it's available?

rubix 7 years, 11 months ago

I am just waiting for someone with a religious viewpoint to come in and fire away on this topic...

If you are gay/lesbian, great, allow them to file for 'common law' or 'partnership' status. Let them get healthcare, benefits and perks of married people. Just because someone has different beliefs or feelings doesn't mean that thier vote/ideas or [gasp] money doesn't count. My guess is there is someone, somewhere sitting in an office that wants to know the population % of gays/lesbians in the city/county. Why? For what reason? Is it still so big of a deal that prejudices overrule the opportunity of minority group to be included like everyone else?

hammysammy 7 years, 11 months ago

DAMBUZDO Not all gay people are liberal. Look at Cheney's daughter. All gay people being gay would indicate that homosexuality is a choice, which is isn't. Dambudzo, your argument is completely senseless. I guess no liberal people would like to to be on the social security list, or be able to vote, since those are both government lists, or be able to attend public institutions such as KU.

hammysammy 7 years, 11 months ago

All gays being LIBERAL I meant. Hee hee.

Ceallach 7 years, 11 months ago

I find it difficult to believe that one decision by a city government can accomplish relationship equity within our population. The proposal is not what it appears to be, and this article makes it sound soooo simple.

There are many laws currently in place regarding spousal responsibilities within a marriage contract. It seems to me a single registry would be insufficient.

Example: how would one, upon dissolving a registered partnership, change their registry? If the registry is not changed, is the person still responsible for the registered partner? Is there any sense of responsibility and/or commitment to support the partner in any way? Will not this simple process will become extremely complicated and confusing without initial guidelines/statutes/etc.

This IS a big deal. The proposal and it's future complications should be given very serious consideration before acceptance.

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

rubix, to quote Commissioner Rundle, this is about "non-gay" unions, as well. This is a work-around the marriage statutes for couples who find them too restrictive.

bd 7 years, 11 months ago

Will the registered partners be able to change a partner at will? Short term? Long term? Rotation?

jafs 7 years, 11 months ago

While there are still details to be ironed out, I think this is a step in the right direction.

It seems to me that all American citizens have the right to "pursue happiness" in a variety of ways, including forming committed relationships.

Denying some of these citizens the benefits that other receive based simply on the gender of the people involved is clearly unfair.

If having this documentation will allow more unmarried couples to receive benefits, great!

I might, if I were gay/lesbian, be concerned about having my name on a list that could be used against me, however.

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

Attorney Schauner, perhaps you should investigate the type of proof large companies require to establish the "domestic partner" relationship before you use that as an excuse to establish this ordinance. Providing proof of joint bank accounts and joint residency over a certain period of time is not onerous.

rubix 7 years, 11 months ago

"rubix, to quote Commissioner Rundle, this is about "non-gay" unions, as well. This is a work-around the marriage statutes for couples who find them too restrictive."

I never said this was only about gay unions, although it is primarily the reason this is so active. There is such a thing called common law marriage between a man and woman. If you don't want that either, well, sorry, I don't know what to tell you. I guess we should make up rules for each person as they want them. That way everyone gets whatever they want and on thier own terms, huh?

jafs 7 years, 11 months ago

Everyone does have the right to choose what kinds of relationships they pursue, and rightly so, in my opinion.

The issue is whether the state confers benefits on some of these choices but not others, and if so, what the justification is for denying those benefits.

Other than age (and cross-species activity, of course), I can't see the justification for excluding large portions of the population from the benefits.

If the conversation were about something other than marriage, it would be quite clear. Imagine if straight people were allowed to run businesses, buy houses, shop at grocery stores, mail letters, etc. but gay people weren't. Wouldn't this be obvious discrimination?

classclown 7 years, 11 months ago

So if a sovereign city government wants to push one religion over another, perhaps with public displays, it would be okay since it's not the state?

Hawkman 7 years, 11 months ago

Let's just do away with marriage...that union and "registration" has worked really well. That way everyone is equal.

wheatridge 7 years, 11 months ago

Is sodomy still illegal? So this is like a registry of some law breakers? Huh, that sounds really Kansas, stupid is as stupid does.

Jamesaust 7 years, 11 months ago

"City Commissioner David Schauner ... said the number of large companies offering benefits to domestic partners swayed him."

Duh. A quickie survey on the internet reveals that virtually every regional employer of any size allows for domestic partner benefits.

I couldn't find a statement one way or the other for BNSF, the railroad, in Topeka, nor for Yellow Freight. Of course neo-con, private corporation, Halliburton-wanna be - Koch Industries - does NOT offer such benefits. But even old-fashioned, conservative Hallmark does offer such benefits. Everyone else - AT&T, Sprint, Kroger (Dillons), Ford Motor, American Century Investments, H&R Block, Payless, Home Depot, Cox Communications, Honeywell, Sears, Office Depot, Borders, UPS, State Farm, Best Buy, DST, Walgreens, IBM - check, check, check, check ..... Who have I missed? (Security Benefit, anyone?)

Jamesaust 7 years, 11 months ago

bd -

All three (just like heterosexuals, I suppose).

Jamesaust 7 years, 11 months ago

wheatridge -

Q: "Is sodomy still illegal?"

A: No. Any more questions?

EXks 7 years, 11 months ago

is sodomy still illegal? So this is like a registery of some law breakers?

wheatridge, did you miss the memo? (see below)

On June 26, 2003, the Supreme Court ruled in a decision OVERTURNING state laws that made sodomy between consenting adults illegal in the Lawrence et al vs. Texas case.

In its 6-3 decision overturning laws in Texas and about a dozen other states, the Supreme Court said the due process clause of the Constitution protects homosexual couples' right to engage in private sexual practices without intervention by the government.

davidnta 7 years, 11 months ago

The sodomy law was struck down 3 1/2 years ago. So this is just a symbolic registry for people who want a paper justification of their relationship. Some companies may require some proof of a documented relationship before they can offer benefits to the other spouse. The lawyer that works for AT&T yesterday made a good example of that. He said that AT&T requires documentation before they are able to release benefits. Over half of the Fortune 500 companies offer either full benefits or partial benefits to partners. You can go to the HRC's website to research this yourself.

There are many other places that offer similar registries throughout the US. Even Missouri has it, with KC and St. Louis and they have a constitutional amendment in place. Of course it was challenge, but it did not work. They are smart to get the AG's opinion on this before proceeding, and they already have past AGs from other states defending their own registries.

porkchop 7 years, 11 months ago

I am against this proposal. I am against mandatory gay marriage. As a good Christian, I don't want to have to gay marry anybody!

Jamesaust 7 years, 11 months ago

davidnta -

good point.

Someone with more time perhaps can do the math but if you added up cities like Denver, KC, Portland, Iowa City, etc. as well as the states with same-sex partnerships - Cali, NJ, Mass., Vermont, Conn., Hawaii, Maine - my guess is that over 50% of the U.S. population lives somewhere that recognizes same-sex partners as something beyond "strangers before the law."

Congrats Lawrence, Kansas! Bold Innovator and member of the Mainstream! Go Go Metropolis of the Plains! You've finally caught up with "average."

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

Good info, Jamesaust. Just goes to prove that the registry is unnecessary, at least when I comes to equal access to benefits.

Except, of course, if you work for the City of Lawrence, or for the State of Kansas.

It might have been more effective to lobby to get the definition of "dependent" changed on the city and state health plans.

EXks 7 years, 11 months ago

I am against this proposal. I am against mandatory gay marriage...porkchop


You're entitled to your opinion...... But who said anything about mandatory gay marriage??? A registery is NOT marriage!

porkchop 7 years, 11 months ago

Do we have to have someone in mind when we register? Or will they just assign us one?

Jamesaust 7 years, 11 months ago

Godot -

I agree with you. I don't find the registry plan all that valuable (although hardly worthless either). I just find the arguments against it silly, or confused (where are you Marion?). Its fairly obvious as a last minute attempt to gain voter favor right before an election.

Seems to me Maggie Childs would better use her time picking a narrow issue - say, hospital visitation, inheritance, or easier unwanted child adoption - and lobby the Legislature to carve out an exception to its present, homo-phobic policy. I believe Childs' organization scored well in the last election with Democrat and moderate GOP victors; perhaps its time for those winners to take a stand, earn some "street cred," and deliver some RESULTS beyond a paltry city-registry?

craigers 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't agree with this movement forward or anything that disguises homosexuality as a normal lifestyle. However, not everybody has time to go down and petition everything they don't agree with. Oh well.

Tychoman 7 years, 11 months ago

Yeah don't waste your time on us, craigers. We're only trying to undermine the foundation of civilization rolls eyes. Good to know you couldn't be bothered. Thanks for the update.

Jamesaust 7 years, 11 months ago

Marion - "I am quite certain that the wording if the Amendment in the Kansas Constitution that any such plan will be shut down..."

Perhaps, however, I doubt it.

I can see AG Morrison's memo now: "it is a reasonable inference that the people did not intended to invalidate recognition of domestic partnerships when adopting this Amendment." Else, why doesn't the Amendment just say that? Was the concept of "DPs" unheard of two years ago? Were the drafters of the Amendment language incompetent? All it says is that "marriage" requires members of the opposite gender.

What's more, the City's plan takes great pains to restrict itself to "family" not marriage. "Family" is already broadly defined - heck, it even includes a single person. "Family" as in boring things like zoning.

Worse case scenario is not a lawsuit (again, who is the plaintiff?) but rather the Legislature decides it must adopt a mandatory, statewide definition of "family" (to avoid the non-uniform, decentralized Constitutional problem I noted yesterday) that pointedly excludes same-sex couples. Could happen but I'd guess the average Kansans would say, "why?". Ironically, many Kansas politicians, having removed "marriage" as an issue for now, have created a fair amount of wiggle room, including a certain Democrat Governor with perhaps national ambitions. (Veto?)

Atreides 7 years, 11 months ago

This gay marriage bit has been said by some to be a conspiracy of divorce attorneys;)

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

Atreides, I thought about that, too. Just more reasons to go to court and fight over stuff.

Bradley Kemp 7 years, 11 months ago

I love it when oddballs think that only gays (or that all gays) engage in sodomy.

They're mistaken, of course.

EXks 7 years, 11 months ago

Is there a directory or list of pro-sodomy business? Can I call the Chamber of Commerce and request one...LOL

Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 11 months ago

Souki,

It's just one glaring example of the blatant ignorance that most of these reader-reaction posters share with the rest of us.

Kelly Powell 7 years, 11 months ago

the point is moot when it comes to benefits....When the insurance companies recognize domestic partnership, then we will be on the right track.

EXks 7 years, 11 months ago

Dambudzo........, the rise and fall of past empires and civilizations were due to a number of factors, i.e., economic, overextension of the military, colonialism, imperialism, etc.

You're right, everything is cyclical, but a domestic partnership registry wasn't one of the causes

Jamesaust 7 years, 11 months ago

parkay --

You're so funny. The devolution of sodomy laws in practice to being ONLY about homosexuality was a key practical reason for finally doing away with them.

The perpetrators of so-called "sodomic" acts are overwhelmingly heterosexuals. (I would guess >90%.) Sodomy itself was invented as a concept by medieval monks relying upon ancient Greek beliefs that the 'male seed' was itself a baby (to be incubated within the mother). It had no basis in science (or theology, for that matter).

Name me a business (virtually) and you'll have named a 'pro-sodomy' business. Good luck growing your own food, weaving your own cloth, and making your own candles in your cave. (Say howdy to that other great anti-sodomist, Osama.)

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 11 months ago

Porkchop has a geranium in the cranium. To extrapolate mandatory gay marriage out of this demonstrates that those of that mindset are completely and utterly hysterical, and I don't mean humorous.

Common Law relationships haven't been recognized by the state since July 1, 2003 and as others have pointed out earlier, sodomy laws were struck down at that time as well.

I guess it's hard for people living in centuries past to grasp recent changes. Just like they can't grasp that getting/giving a BJ to your partner is sodomy. I bet more than we can count we doing that when it was illegal but only had a problem with it when gays were doing it. Flip/flop, flip/flop . . .

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

It is so much easier to get into and out of domestic relationships without the burden of marriage and divorce.

Which leads me to wonder why gays, or heteros who have managed to escape the marriage thing, would sacrifice their freedom to partner up without formal rules in order put their names on a public registry that ties them to another, without formal rules of disengagement.

I guess it might be useful for future hookups to lookup the hookee's registration history, but....

You guys and gals have it good; now the activists among you are preparing to shoot all of you in the collective feet.

I can see it now; you have a good relationship going, and then the partner utters the inevitable, "Where are we going with this?" and, "If you really loved me, you'd go register with me..."

Arrgghhhh!

Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 11 months ago

Godot,

The reason I would "sacrifice" my freedom to be on a registry is because that would entitle my partner and I to the same insurace rights and hospital visitation rights (to name just a few rights) that married couples have---provided that the business or hospital chooses to recognize the registry. I don't think that's comparable with shooting anybody in the foot, do you?

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, weezy, I do. You have the ability to take out your own health insurance policy, and a life insurance policy on your partner, or on yourself, and choose your own beneficiary, and you can create legal documents that give you and your partner the right to visitation and to make medical decisions, and you can make a will that directs where your property should go after your death.....and all of this is private, and none of it is subject to marriage law. It may cost a thousand bucks or so to set it up, but that is chump change compared to the dollars you will spend to unencumber yourself from a "registered partner," should you desire to do so, once this unregulated relationship enters the courts.

Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 11 months ago

Why in the world should I jump through all these extra hoops to get the same benefits that a hetero couple could instantly get just by getting married on a whim during a quick trip to a drive-thru chapel in Las Vegas? The goal here is equality. Setting different rules for people who aren't like you is discrimination.

Porter 7 years, 11 months ago

Parkay where do YOU work? I'm not eligible for sodomy benefits, and I'm jealous. That weak Christmas bonus I get is nothing compared to some adult fun.

Seriously, I could use a new job. Hee hee.

Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 11 months ago

right_thinker: Who's Charlie?

Thanks_Marion: If businesses are given the option to recognize OR ignore a couple's registry, is that considered "recognized by the state"?

What the hell is wrong with this country?

Jamesaust 7 years, 11 months ago

Thanks Marion but we were aware of this already. There's nothing in this proposal about "marriage."

Tychoman 7 years, 11 months ago

Marion, it says the state can't recognize a marriage, it doesn't say anything about a sovereign city government.

jafs 7 years, 11 months ago

Marion may be right about this, unfortunately.

What's needed is for the clearly unconstitutional amendments "protecting" marriage to be overturned by the Supreme Court.

I think the fact that marriage is both a religious and a secular institution is in large part the cause of the trouble here. If we could separate those aspects, it might help to sort this out.

As a secular institution, it should be available to all who wish to engage in it, with the same rights/benefits for all. Anything else is clearly discriminatory.

As a religious one, it should be up to each church to decide what their philosophy is and act accordingly. After all, we are not supposed to have a state religion - check the Constitution.

ericarothwell 7 years, 11 months ago

If I had not had to be at work at 5pm in KC I would have attended and opposed the registry. So, city employees might be able to get health care? Who pays for this? Tax payers? Insurance subscribers premiums will go up. Homosexuals are making a choice to engage in this type of lifestyle which does not provide them
the same benefits as those who are following the law. We should not be creating laws to get around other laws. Lawrence is already very tolerant. And I am sick of hearing about tolerance, all it means is that those who have opposing opinions should not voice them. Tolerance is muting the voice of the unpopular vote. Or the opinion not deemed tolerant. Tolerance has nothing to do with violence. Just because you find my view point intolerant does not mean I will hurt someone I disagree with. And yet, I know once this is posted. Some will sling verbal arrows menat to harm. I am not in favor of Homosexuality. I do not judge those who engage. I have friends who are..they know my viewpoint, they also know I personnally do not approve and I will not allow my children them to be around them. Those of us who do not appove need to stand up and be heard or this minority will become the majority if it is not already. So, what if we will be judged for our christian right-wing opinions (as it is called.) If we don't our culture will change and our children will grow up believing that homosexuality is okay and normal. When it is unnatural. Thanks!

Tychoman 7 years, 11 months ago

Erica, several things: You have already judge those of us who are homosexual by saying that we are making a choice--we are not. With people like you who treat us like second-class citizens, why would we choose to be gay? Seriously, think about it. "I do not allow my children to be around them." Ridiculous! "Those of us who do not appove need to stand up and be heard or this minority will become the majority if it is not already. So, what if we will be judged for our christian right-wing opinions (as it is called.) If we don't our culture will change and our children will grow up believing that homosexuality is okay and normal. When it is unnatural. Thanks!"

That just frightens me. How ignorant can you be? Your first sentence doesn't make any sense. It's like you believe the domestic partner registry is a recruiting tool to get more people to be gay. How ludicrous. And by the way, homosexuality IS okay. Thanks!

Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 11 months ago

Oh, dear ericarothwell, I don't know where to begin with you. You certainly shouldn't try to get your education from a reader-reaction post, but I'll do my best to play "teacher" here...

Lesson #1: Homosexuals do not---I repeat, do not---make a choice to engage in "this type of lifestyle." We are who we are, just as straight people don't "choose" to be straight. Oh, sure, one can choose to BEHAVE in a certain way, but that's called acting or, in most cases, severe self-denial. Most gay people don't announce their sexual orientation as overtly as you might see some gay people do in the movies or on TV. In fact, ericarothwell, most are probably JUST LIKE YOU but feel like they have to act straight just to be safe. That, my friend, is the only "choice" gay people make about their orientation---to deny or tell the truth.

Lesson #2: Most gay people, as with most straight people, are law-abiding, tax-paying citiziens who are always "following the law." But---brace yourself for this---most laws are unethical. Ever hear of Jim Crow laws? America certainly created laws to get around THOSE laws. It's only a matter of time before we do the same to this wave of marriage discrimination.

Lesson #3: Hmm, let's have a recess. Take a break and be back in time for Lesson #4.

Lesson #4: Tolerance and violence have everything to do with each other: they're at opposite ends of the same spectrum. Intolerance stems from ignorance, which leads to fear, which can lead to hate, which can---and most often will---end in violence. Forgive me for sounding like Yoda, but all this is true. This isn't to say that you're a prime candidate for being a gay basher, but the closer you can stay on the tolerance end of the spectrum, the better.

Lesson #5: You say you do not judge those who "engage" in homosexuality, yet you say in the same breath that you are not in favor of it. Surely you are judging SOMETHING about gay people in order to reach your conclusion.

Lesson #6: This lesson isn't so much of a lesson as it is an observation: You need new friends. If you have friends who are gay, like you've said, and they're still your friends even though you won't let them near your kids, your friends are either terrified of you or aren't the sharpest crayons in the box. What kind of a friendship is that?? Sheesh.

Lesson #7: Those of you who don't approve have been standing up and letting yourselves be heard for long enough now. And our culture WILL change, and it will change for the better. Children WILL grow up to believe that homosexuality is OK and normal because---surprise, surprise---it is.

OK, before I dismiss class, I have a suggestion: If you indeed have gay friends, please get to know them better and try to see them as fellow human beings and not immoral, unnatural, law-breaking, child-eating trolls. That's your homework assignment.

Tychoman 7 years, 11 months ago

Beautiful, Weezy. Absolutely beautiful. Especially the child-eating trolls part, that brought a huge smile to my face.

Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 11 months ago

Thanks, Tychoman. I've been on a soapbox for so long that I think I should change my moniker to Country-Fresh Tide.

Tychoman 7 years, 11 months ago

I've thought of changing mine to Thread_Killer.

craigers 7 years, 11 months ago

I hear you Erica. Don't let the tolerance police get to you. Homosexuality is wrong, plain and simple. The fact is that society is changing to believe that it is right, but hopefully there will always be a portion of the society that believes in the one true Christian God that says it is wrong and sinful, just like every other sexual sin. It is too bad though that Christians focus more on this than adultery, fornication, etc.

Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 11 months ago

Oh for Pete's sake, craigers, let's not get into what God said and all that jazz. Put the Good Book down for a second. God "said" a lot of stuff about adultery, murder, slavery, avoiding menstrating women, and so on. WWJD, craigers? WWJD?

People who think homosexuality is wrong think that way because (1) sex is already a taboo topic among church folk, (2) they don't understand it and therefore fear it, (3) they're really gay themselves and take out their self-hatred on other gay people, or (4) a combination or all of the above.

"Tolerance police"....You say it as if it's a bad thing. Madre de Dios...

Tychoman 7 years, 11 months ago

craigers, no it's NOT. "one true Christian God" One of the most arrogant, pompous posts I've ever read, until your next sentence.

"It is too bad that Christians focus more on this than adultery, fornication, etc." How self-righteous can you get? You are the LAST person to judge anyone. Like you've never engaged in a sexual sin. Jeez.

Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 11 months ago

Tychoman, sex IS sin to most religious folks. And thus we have the possible root of homophobia, namely that some people think of just the sex part of homosexuality and can't get past the heebie-jeebies.

gr 7 years, 11 months ago

"But commissioners stopped short of formally approving the idea, which also would allow heterosexual couples who choose not to marry to register."

Wow. Why would any heterosexual couples CHOOSE not to marry when there is "supposedly" soooo many benefits to marrying?

gr 7 years, 11 months ago

if you get married you HAVE to have a wedding?

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

gr wrote: "Wow. Why would heterosexual couples CHOOSE not to marry when there is "supposedly" soooo many benefits to marrying?"

You got that right.

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

I give up. I have done my best to warn my gay/bi/lesbian (I would add transgender, but, as far as I know, I do not know any) friends about trading their freedom for the semblance of marriage. If they do not want to hear, so be it. I do, however, question their willing forfeiture of freedom. Reminds me of lemmings.

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

If I were gay, I would attack the problem of benefits and health care access in a different way. I would work to bring an end to employer-provided benefits in exchange for more take home pay. And I would lobby congress to repeal HIPPA.

That seems a lot more direct, and more beneficial, than trying to re-define "marriage," an institution that at least 50% of heteros try to avoid.

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

I wrote : "That seems a lot more direct, and more beneficial, than trying to re-define "marriage," an institution that at least 50% of heteros try to avoid."

Correction: it is an institution from which at least 50% of heteros bail.

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

Another 30% just grin and bear it rather than go through the extreme discomfort of divorce.

werekoala 7 years, 11 months ago

Gr: "Wow. Why would any heterosexual couples CHOOSE not to marry when there is "supposedly" soooo many benefits to marrying?"

On the off-hand, I'd say it's none of your damn business what a couple chooses to do or not do together.

(hint: that's the whole problem with fundies, they think what everyone else does in the privacy of their own rooms IS the business of the government.)

But be careful, by the way. You sound suspiciously close to suggesting that marriage is NOT a big deal. Which begs the question why expanding this benefit to a small minority of the population is so terrifying to conservatives that they spent most of the 2004 election cycle babbling about it.

budwhysir 7 years, 11 months ago

Look, an article on a registry for domestic. What is domestic?? I am rather confused about this topic

budwhysir 7 years, 11 months ago

Ok ill bite, what is the real argument here??????????

pelliott 7 years, 11 months ago

I think a domestic registry is great. A mature and fair move for our city to make. To deny support for domestic partners is a little effort that may help make more Kansans have access to health care through the workplace. Being single is a great freedom but a committed relationship is a great freedom too. Intimacy is a humanizing experience, heck sometime just loving a person all your life is the greatest adventure to be had.

jafs 7 years, 11 months ago

The problem is the confusion/combining of religion and government.

Religious believers are free to believe what they wish about homosexuality, etc. as long as we have freedom of religion.

And, by the same token, and in the same Article, Article 1 of our Constitution (more commonly known as the 1st amendment), there shall be no law respecting an "establishment of religion".

Our founding fathers wished for all to have freedom of religion, and clearly did not wish for any one religion (or sect) to gain political power.

Given this, it seems to me that amendments "protecting" marriage based on religion would be counter to the wishes of the founding fathers of our country, especially if they are clearly discriminatory.

Government should be based on our Constitution, and religions can be based on whatever fundamental texts they choose.

jafs 7 years, 11 months ago

In other words, you are free to believe what you wish religiously, but should not have the power to impose your religious beliefs on others.

Denying the benefits of marriage (as a civil institution) to a large minority of our population is clearly discriminatory. Imagine if straight people could run businesses, buy houses, use the US Mail, etc. but not gay people.

Separating the religious/secular parts of marriage is the only way forward with this issue.

Churches would still have the right to recognize/sanction or not any particular unions.

craigers 7 years, 11 months ago

Tycho, why would I say that my God is just one of many gods? If I truly believe in my God, I have just demoted him by referring to Him as any other form than the one true God. I will not do that, sorry. You can consider it pompus or self-righteous, well so be it. I will not compromise my view on My Savior to make you think differently of me. And no Christian has ever said they never made a mistake whether it be a sexual sin, greed, anger, jealousy, etc since all are equal offense in God's eyes.

Weezy, as I mentioned there isn't enough focus on helping other people not fall into the other sexual sins as adultery, fornication, as well as other sins in general. I admit that the church isn't doing enough to help other people with these problems. And WWJD? Just pick up the Good Book. All those with sin problems, Christ shows us to come to repentance and turn from our sins. Thus try not to commit them anymore and He will help us do that. As with one adulterous woman He encounter His quote was, "Go and sin no more." He never accepts or condones sinful actions. He will forgive those who come to Him though. His blood and grace covers us. His blood and grace are not applied to those who don't repent or think there is anything wrong with their sin.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 11 months ago

You know, Kansas still recognizes common law marriages, but they don't require them anymore.

I remember a time when if you lived with another person for three months or more you were considered married by the state, whether you wanted to be or not.

Now, if you want to be in a common law marriage, you and your partner have to go to the courthouse and sign papers.

Be warned, however, that if you do this, and you eventually want to split up, you will have to go to court and get divorced. Even though you never technically got married to begin with.

I don't know if the same will hold true for homosexual couples.

Tychoman 7 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for that lovely sermon, craigers. Now do you have anything worthwhile to add to the debate? So far, no.

Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 11 months ago

My, that WAS a lovely seromn. Touching, too. It reminded me of Catholic Sunday school classes when I was in elementary school---and how I would struggle mightily to keep awake.

But I jest. I have no problem with folks who take their religion seriously and can share Bible passages with the rest of us. My problem is when those same folks use their religion to judge others and justify discrimination. If I remember correctly from my Catholic upbringing and my studies of other religions, you should leave the judging to God (or Whomever) and treat others as you would have them treat you. Pretty simple stuff. You don't like gay people? Fine, but don't preach to them about their "sins." You think gay people are defying God by getting married? Fine, but let God judge them and deal with them. As long as gay people---or any people---try to live in peace and not harm anyone, you need to butt out and let them deal with God and His will on their own terms.

Tychoman 7 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, craigers. If you want any of us to take someone like you seriously and actually listen to you, the last thing you should do is preach to us about your religion.

ericarothwell 7 years, 11 months ago

Do you want humanity to breed itself out of excistence?

ericarothwell 7 years, 11 months ago

jafs, are you saying if we did not have freedom of religion that religious believers would not be against homosexuality and other sexual sins? This comment is ludacris. Religious believers are free to believe what they wish about homosexuality, etc. a s long as we have freedom of religion. AND THEN WHAT?

Cragers comments are worthwhile. He was simply commenting Tychoman's ubsurd comments and others intolerance to views against thiers. What hypocrites.

Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 11 months ago

ericarothwell, I'm going to start calling you Chrissie, as in Suzanne Sommer's character from "Three's Company." Because that question you asked---"Do you want humanity to breed itself out of existence?"---is pure Chrissie. Genius!

Wrap your mind around this: Do you think that God made homosexuals in order to keep the human population in check? Hmmm....

We're all hypocrites sometimes. Hey, I have an idea: Let's stick to our own views, respect the views of others (unless their views are sitcom dialogue....just kidding, Chrissie), and practice tolerance on BOTH sides!

Tychoman 7 years, 11 months ago

Erica, you'd better come in from recess. The cold is affecting your thinking. Where on Earth did you get that jafs was saying people would be pro-gay without freedom of religion? That comment is the very definition of inane. Not insane, inane. Look it up in between classes at your middle school.

The word is LUDICROUS. The word is ABSURD. His name is CRAIGERS. The word is THEIR'S.

"He was simply commenting Tychoman's ubsurd comments and others intolerance to views against thiers." That sentence just doesn't make any sense, I don't know where to start, or what you mean.

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

From what I read on this forum, I gather that the message from the left (which includes the majority of the faculty and administration of KU, and of course, the SoroCites and their sycophants) is clear: if you support the effort to defend the US against the aggression of extreme fundamental Islamism that calls for the the destruction of the US, if you deplore late term abortion, if you question the exalted supremacy of embryonic stem cell research as the only answer to curing debilitating diseases, if you oppose the morphing of marriage, (an institution that has a multi-cultural history, dating back thousands of years, that views marriage as a commitment between a man and a woman) to include two (or more) people of the same sex, then you are an idiot. It also implies that you are a Christian, which, in and of itself, implies idiocy. Do I get this right?

Tychoman 7 years, 11 months ago

Laughable, Godot. The only idiocy you speak of is the crap people like you pull for joining polygamy with gay marriage. They are completely unrelated. No one has said anything about late-term abortion, that's just the only abortion people like you think of. You bring in the argument of fighting for US freedom; no one is calling embryonic stem cell research the "only" answer to curing debilitating diseases.

That's plenty of idiocy right there in your post.

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

Tychoman, I posted an article earlier this week reporting that a Canadian court ruled that a two woman, one man marriage was acceptable. You must have missed that.

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

Tychoman, I merely digest the many posts on many threads on the LJW today. My digest is correct.

Tychoman 7 years, 11 months ago

It wasn't a marriage they endorsed, it was custody and entitlement to their child.

Your digest is correct? Uh-huh.

Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 11 months ago

Gobot, it's oversimplification like yours that's the epitome of people identifying themselves and each other as Left or Right and adopting an "Us vs. Them" mentality. Things just aren't that black and white. It would great if they were, but they're not.

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

Tychoman, the watch and wait for the next step.

Look to the future, do not just plan one play at a time.

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

Weezy, relaxations of the social structure tend to progress negatively. Perhaps you are too young to recall the implications of Roe v Wade (emergency abortions as a last resort) to compare them with what exists today.

Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 11 months ago

Relaxations of the social structure is not synonymous with destruction of the social structure. Yet most people associate such relaxations---or change, in general---with the downfall of society (i.e., change = bad, whatever happened to the good ol' days, whatever happened to Baby Jane, etc.). Except we tend to forget that the "good ol' days" weren't really all that good, or at least as good as we think we remember them to be. We just fear change.

What exists today? A lot of people struggling to make changes for the better but running into opposition from people who don't want to change. Throw religion into the mix and it makes the situation that much more difficult.

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

Weezy, I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are trying to make change for the better. I hope you do. Best wishes for the future, for you, and for mine.

Godot 7 years, 11 months ago

See, Tychoman, with people like you, there is no compromise, no negotation. People like you validate the Bush doctrine.

Tychoman 7 years, 11 months ago

Excuse me? You're one to talk about no compromise or no negotation. What the hell are you talking about?

budwhysir 7 years, 11 months ago

I cant wait for the day that this thing goes away. Why would one register for this anyhow

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 11 months ago

Godot,

I see you've gotten yourself into a pickle on this thread as well. Tsk tsk tsk. When willl you learn?

Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 11 months ago

Methinks I detect a note of sarcasm coming from Godot. But I'm going to blame that on conditioning; instead, I'm going to accept his statement as a warm hug and believe that we can ride off into the sunset holding hands. Or, better yet, we can drive off a cliff like Thelma and Louise.

Tychoman 7 years, 11 months ago

Once again, the Canadian court ruled that the man and those two women count as three parents of one boy. It wasn't a marriage ruling.

resaboydston 7 years, 11 months ago

1.28.07

Dear Editors and people of Lawrence, KS;

I commend you on your noble efforts to accept a domestic partnership registry. What a wonderful thought, that we all may truly be equal under the law.

In response to negative comments regarding this domestic partnership registry, I hope that those who feel this way take a moment and reflect on Christ's teaching in Matthew 7:1, 2 and follow His example, loving and accepting everyone He came in contact with.

And another thought to ponder, Christ said it in Matthew 22:21 and the Founding Fathers reinforced that scripture with the separation of church and state. We need to adhere to their wise guidance.

We are all precious in His eyes and we are all equal under the law.

Sincerely Yours,

Resa Boydston Topeka, KS

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