Archive for Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lawmaker pushing to repeal city’s domestic registry

February 21, 2008


State lawmaker attempts domestic partnership registry repeal

One state lawmaker crusading against Lawrence's domestic partnership registry seeks to repeal the city ordinance. Enlarge video

State Rep. Paul Davis on the bill to repeal Lawrence's domestic partnership registry

State Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, talks about the bill that would repeal Lawrence's domestic partnership registry. The legislation was sent back to the House Judiciary Committee, but could come back before the full House later in the sess

How they voted

Here is how area legislators voted on a motion to send back to committee House Bill 2299 that would repeal Lawrence's domestic partnership registry. Some of those who wanted to repeal the registry said the vote to send it to committee was an attempt to try to kill the bill. The motion was approved 66-50.

Voting to send it to committee

¢ State Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence

¢ State Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence

¢ State Rep. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City

¢ State Rep. Ann Mah, D-Topeka

¢ State Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence

Voting against sending it to committee

¢ State Rep. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora

¢ State Rep. Lee Tafanelli, R-Ozawkie

— The Kansas House on Wednesday sent back to committee a bill that would repeal Lawrence's domestic partnership registry.

But state Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, the bill's author, said he would push to have it considered by the House again before the legislative session ends in late April.

"It adds an extra hoop to the process," Kinzer said.

The House voted 66-50 to send House Bill 2299 to the House Judiciary Committee for further study.

Lawrence City Commission established a domestic partnership registry last year at the request of gay and lesbian couples who said it could help them secure health insurance benefits for their partners.

The registry allows unmarried couples - both same-sex and heterosexual - to register their domestic partnerships at City Hall. Thirty-one couples have signed on.

But Kinzer said that rules affecting couples should be the same throughout the state.

"On an important public policy matter ... we should have one uniform law for the state," he said.

Opponents of the bill, however, said many cities have different ordinances in response to the needs and desires of their local residents.

On the issue of health benefits, Kinzer said if couples are denied health insurance because they are unmarried, then they should get married.

That brought a sharp response from state Rep. Thomas "Tim" Owens, R-Overland Park, who said, "We are a nation of freedom, and I get real tired of hearing people try to shove down our throats how they believe that everybody else should act."

State Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said the bill, which was originally recommended for approval by the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, needed to be reviewed by the Judiciary Committee because of legal questions surrounding the measure.

Davis, who made the motion to send it to Judiciary, said it was possible that Kinzer's bill could be considered again by the full House, but he hoped it wouldn't.

"I just hope this now gives us an opportunity to move on to health care and education, and some of the issues that I think the people of Kansas would like us to focus on instead of issues like this that are just political wedge issues and don't really have much substance to them," Davis said.

House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, said he didn't know if Kinzer's bill would be brought before the full House again. Rep. Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, who is chairman of Judiciary, said he didn't know if the committee would have enough time to take up the bill.

The bill had been on the House calendar since the session started in January, but was brought up for debate Wednesday, Neufeld said, because he wanted to clean the calendar as legislative deadlines approached.


Corey Williams 10 years, 4 months ago

Exactly. Look how many men were accusedin the past few years of having or looking for same-sex partners outside of their marriage. Their marriages held up.

Jeff Barclay 10 years, 4 months ago

Our ordinance probably violates state law anyway. Yes, a number of local and very vocal proponents of the ordinance are going to cry bigotry. The block of voters that voted in at least two of the new city commissioner never anticipated these men voting in favor of the domestic registry ordinance in the first place. Lawrence's ordinance is ill-advised, exposes existing and potential new businesses and our city to expensive litigation, and illegally supercedes Kansas state law. Has anyone else noticed how bored Topeka has become with all of Lawrence's idiosyncracies? Along with that distrurbing trend, economic development is either shrugged off or frightened away. It is all very unfortunate.

ontheotherhand 10 years, 4 months ago

Barclay, I hope you are not a lawyer or a law enforcement official. Further, I hope you do not have children (we don't need more from your gene pool). You definitely represent the drivel that is spewed by ignorant people on these posts. Since both Phil Kline (Republican) and Paul Morrison (Democrat) BOTH stated that the DP registry does NOT violate state law, I can only conclude that you are either really really ignorant or you believe you are God.

If you have any intelligence at all, could you please explain how a DP registry threatens your ability to get married, cheat on your wife, divorce, and marry again? I hate to break the news to you, but "traditional marriage" has been reduced to that: 1 in 2 marriages end in divorce, often because of infidelity. Do you REALLY think that homosexuals are the reason men and women can't stay true to each other? Seems to me that they need more instruction from the pulpit, instead of hearing pastors preach drivel on the sins of homosexuality.

ontheotherhand 10 years, 4 months ago

Corey, the fact that men cannot stay true in their marriages should not be blamed on homosexuality. Sorry, but I (and probably you) know of WAY too many men who have cheated on their wives with other women.

Rereading your post: Were you simply being sarcastic? I hope so.

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 4 months ago

I'm saddened by our city's homosexual partnership registry. It's one more blow to our society's value of protecting traditional marriage from multiple new radical concepts of family.

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 4 months ago

Divorce and adultery aren't new, Agnostik. Homosexual "marriage," an inconceivable and laughable notion even one short decade ago, is.

Mark Pickerel 10 years, 4 months ago

"On the issue of health benefits, Kinzer said if couples are denied health insurance because they are unmarried, then they should get married."

This makes me laugh. The very definition of a specious argument.

I'm so proud Rep. Kinzer has decided to waste my tax dollars in such a way.

sinedie 10 years, 4 months ago

You know what else used to be laughable? Black people with freedom. Women with voting rights. Civil rights. There were people who stood up and said it would, could and should never change. It did.

I will be the first to oppose homosexual marriage (and the domestic registry) when you can demonstrate how it threatens me, you, or society at large.

Until then - "it's just icky to me" - is not good enough.

Mark Pickerel 10 years, 4 months ago

So, Dolly, are there not lesbians? I'm not understanding your arguments here.

Bradley Kemp 10 years, 4 months ago


One minor quibble with your earlier post: You said that the attorney general "clearly stated that the registry is most likely in violation of 'home rule' laws in Kansas because it allows people who live outside of the city limits of Lawrence to register."

That's not true. He recommended that the registry not be open to persons living outside the city -- and he recommended that precisely because it would keep the registry within the bounds of "home rule" laws. The city commission followed that recommendation in creating the registry.

Jeff Barclay 10 years, 4 months ago

Marion is correct.

It is unfortunate that we can not have a rational discussion without name-calling.

Jason Bowers-Chaika 10 years, 4 months ago

A recent poll conducted by Jayhawk Consulting shows that 63% of Kansans believe that Kansas cities should be free to establish Domestic Partner Registries.

white_mountain 10 years, 4 months ago

"Defense of Marriage" is a misnomer. Nobody seriously believes their marriage is at risk due to homosexuality.

It's really more about enforcing religious rules. However, those religious rules are consistently applied in an inconsistent - and therefore biased - manner.

For example, the Bible clearly prohibits divorce. However, we don't see any bills in the legislature attempting to rein that in, do we?

And why would that be?

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 4 months ago

Defender's response is typical of "tolerant" liberals: Accept their point of view or get bashed.

JohnBrown 10 years, 4 months ago

Every one is bogged down in details!

The real story here is the use of Big Government to thwart the freedom of individuals.

Can you imagine this same KS-Talaban legislator forcing home schoolers to re-enroll their kids in public school? (another way Big Governemnt could thwart the freedom of individuals).

mom_of_three 10 years, 4 months ago

I was happy to read that two of the state legislators thought that Kinzer's motion was a waste of time, and one was from Lawrence.
I have been married for almost 18 years, and haven't once been threatened by the idea of gay marriage or of the domestic partnership registry.

lounger 10 years, 4 months ago

Leave us alone. We are the only sane town in Kansas anyway!!!

Avery Pearson 10 years, 4 months ago

yes, keep fighting about the righteousness of what goes on between adults, while our children still don't really understand what happened past 1945...

ontheotherhand 10 years, 4 months ago

Marion, why do you insist on stating that this is meaningless legislation, just because it does not apply to you? I know of a few people couples (one straight; one same-sex) who were allowed to take the piece of paper (Registry) to their companies so their insurance companies would let their partners have insurance. For them, this legislation is probably a little more useful than passing a law that allows them to carry/conceal weapons in public, don't you think? (Btw, I noticed that a poster cleared up the home rule issue so that's why I'm not saying more about it.) :)

Consumer1, you are pretty amazing and pretty ignorant, and definitely in your own little "cube" world. If people were being told that they could not worship any religion they want, then I would be yelling "in the name of diversity" for their right (and yours) to worship as they (and you) please. To use your words, I guess that means I would be fighting for your "little tiny cube of understanding." Perhaps, if you sit back for a minute and THINK (this will require brain power), you will realize that people like me aren't fighting for one cause but ALL causes, and people like you just don't get it because you have never had a right taken away or threatened. If you have, please kindly name it. If not, then that, to me, is what is unbelievable.

ontheotherhand 10 years, 4 months ago

Marion, reread my post: I did not say that you oppose same-sex anything. I was merely asking you why you say the Registry is meaningless? Even if it is bad legislation, it is still not meaningless if it is useful to someone. (For example, I think that conceal/carry is one of the worst pieces of legislation in Kansas, but that does not mean it is meaningless to everyone else.)

To answer your question: No, if the registry is rescinded, that does not negate insurance benefits. Remember, the piece of paper was only a little more proof for companies (since obviously they cannot see marriage certificates--said with sarcasm). A guy at my office was able to add his gf to his insurance since they registered as DPs. So, even if nutcases win and this law is overruled, a few people will have benefitted.

Meatwad 10 years, 4 months ago

I hope Kinzer ends up like Senator Craig. He deserves that. It makes one wonder why he cares so much. I say who cares about some towns domestic registry. They aren't hurting anyone.

Jason Bowers-Chaika 10 years, 4 months ago

What would be unconstitutional would be the disregard for home rule. There are many areas of law, including domestic relations, that are left to individual cities to regulate through home rule. Domestic violence protection from abuse orders, Sunday alcohol sales, size and number of handicapped parking spaces, zoning, fireworks sales and use just to name a few.

If Kinzer supporters are okay with letting the Lawrence domestic partnership registry be stripped away from home rule then what other home rule would you like to let the state steal?

Orwell 10 years, 4 months ago

Averado: Which side of 1945 do you think our children know anything about? "No child left behind" has become "most children held back."

Mark Pickerel 10 years, 4 months ago

Anonymous user

Dollypawpaw (Anonymous) says:

"I don't comment on female issues as I'm not a female. Those are issues that I have no right to comment on. I feel the same way about abortion or any other female issue. I wouldn't have a clue what its like. I no more know what's going through a females head then they know whats going through a guys. Or what isn't going through a guys head.

If women are smart they wouldn't throw their challenges in with the guys that like guys."

Well, that makes it crystal to me now, thanks for the clarification.

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