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