Ban on domestic registry put on hold

? House Speaker Melvin Neufeld said Tuesday that a proposed ban on domestic partnership registries, like the one Lawrence is considering, is probably dead for the 2007 legislative session.

“It’s a little late,” Neufeld, R-Ingalls, said. “Those issues need to be worked pretty thoroughly, so that’s probably a next-year issue.”

The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, said he was disappointed, but added, “I can guarantee you we will be back.”

Neufeld made his remarks after the House had finished worked on numerous bills with one week left before the Legislature adjourns for two and a half weeks.

House Bill 2299 would have prevented any city or county from establishing a registry that “recognizes any domestic partnership not recognized under state law.”

The city of Lawrence has been considering establishing a domestic partnership registry and has requested an attorney general’s opinion on the legality of one. That opinion is due in April.

Supporters of the registry said it would help gay couples receive health insurance coverage from companies that extend benefits to their employees’ partners. Under the registry, same-sex and opposite-sex unmarried couples could register as domestic partners.

Some companies require a registry as proof of a domestic partnership, supporters of the registry say.

But Kinzer said he sought to ban registries to prevent a “hodgepodge” of laws on domestic relationships. He also said the ban was needed to protect the state constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex marriage.