Effort targets new registry

Lawmaker hopes to outlaw Lawrence partnership rule

? A lawmaker who tried unsuccessfully to stop Lawrence from approving a domestic partnership registry said Monday that he would ask the Legislature to repeal it.

“I’m not by any stretch of the imagination considering this a done deal,” said state Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe. “We still have the authority to pre-empt what the city of Lawrence or other cities might be thinking about doing.”

Last month, the Lawrence City Commission agreed to establish a domestic partnership registry, at the request of gay and lesbian couples who said the document could help them secure health insurance benefits for their partners.

The registry would allow unmarried couples – both same-sex and heterosexual – to register their domestic partnerships at City Hall. The city expects to have the registry ready Aug. 1.

But Kinzer said he thinks the registry could run afoul of a Kansas constitutional amendment voters approved in 2005 that recognizes marriage as only between one man and one woman. Plus, he said, rules affecting couples and families should be uniform throughout the state.

During the legislative session that ended in May, Kinzer proposed a bill that would have prevented Lawrence from adopting the registry. Although a House committee approved the measure, it never received a vote before the full House.

In April, Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison said in a legal opinion that the registry would not violate the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Kinzer, however, promises he’ll revive the measure early in the 2008 legislative session.

State Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said he wishes Kinzer would back off.

“This is an issue where you need to give local communities some flexibility,” Davis said. “I don’t understand why it is we want to interfere with a local community’s ability to make that decision.”