Archive for Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Topeka mayor opposes domestic partner registry

November 16, 2011, 9:43 a.m. Updated November 16, 2011, 11:44 a.m.


— Topeka's mayor said creating a domestic partner registry for the city would be "the wrong road to go down," because he believes it would be another step toward legalizing gay marriage.

Mayor Bill Bunten made his comments Tuesday during the Topeka City Council's first reading of a proposal to establish the registry, which would allow unmarried adult couples to register their relationships with the city to gain easier access to benefits such as health insurance and hospital visitation rights, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

"I'm afraid I'm too old for this," Bunten said. "What I see happening all throughout this city and across this country is a minimizing of the need for a man and a woman to have a family. You don't have to do that anymore. It's accepted, and I think that's the wrong road to go down."

The registry would give couples documented proof of their relationship, which is required by some private businesses that extend benefits to their employees' domestic partners, said councilman Andrew Gray, who is sponsoring the proposal. Companies would not be required to offer benefits to domestic partners and the registry would not grant the rights or benefits of marriage to the couples, he said.

And it isn't intended to destroy or minimize traditional marriages, Gray said.

The registry will benefit more heterosexual couples than it will lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples, said Jason Chaika, chairman of the Kansas Equality Coalition's political action committee.

It defines a domestic partnership as a relationship between two unrelated, unmarried, cohabitating people, regardless of gender, who are in an interdependent relationship.

"This is not about gay marriage or eroding marriage in any way," he said. "This is about offering benefits. This is about facilitating businesses to move to this city."

But Bunten said he thinks the registry would give positive recognition to same-sex couples. He also said he doesn't understand why the registry would make a difference.

Gray said the registry will at least make a symbolic difference.

"There is a lot of power behind symbolic moves," he said. "In this case, it could show that Topeka is both an open and tolerant society for those who aren't considered the majority."

He said it could help bring in businesses, which are interested in a diverse work force, and motivate other businesses to extend health benefits to employees' domestic partners, he said.

The city council is scheduled to vote on the registry during its Nov. 29 meeting.


Tristan Moody 6 years, 7 months ago

Blah blah blah tradition blah blah sanctity blah blah blah divorce rate blah blah.

There, I think that covers everything that could possibly be said about this article.

mom_of_three 6 years, 7 months ago

he thinks traditional marriage is being devalued due to the possibility of gay marriage? No, I think its being devalued due to all of those cheating spouses and divorces!

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Yes--look at the example of northern europe--gay marriage does devalue the family and results in a far higher divorce rate and a lower rate of marriage itself. Co-habitation becomes the norm as the people turn away from Judeo-Christian traditions of monogous marriage!

mom_of_three 6 years, 7 months ago

examples from northern europe. hhmm, let's try canada, where its been over 6 years and their divorce rates haven't increased and the world hasn't ended.

from montreal gazette:six years of gay marriage and canada hasn't crumbled.

marriage ends on its own due to domestic violence, alcoholism, gambling and infidelity.

Kathy Theis-Getto 6 years, 7 months ago

"Judeo-Christian traditions of monogous(sic) marriage!" WOW Marriage is not a Judeo-Christian construction, it is a civil arrangement.

question4u 6 years, 7 months ago

Right, we'd better not acknowledge people 's rights because before you know it they'll want you to acknowledge all of their rights. This country wasn't built by guaranteeing people rights, was it?

We wouldn't want to disturb Bill Buntens' worldview. Just let Bill believe that he's a little further up the stairway to heaven because he's doing what he can to make sure that it's more difficult for some people to get "access to benefits such as health insurance and hospital visitation."

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

The law has traditionally given special recognition to marriage and not to other forms of co-habitation.

pace 6 years, 7 months ago

Here was a chance for Mayor Bill Bunten to stand up for all it's citizens and to spit in the eye of the infamous Phelps cult, he chooses to side with Phelps types, is he the mayor or is he the religious arbitrator? I am sick of the idea that it is American and moral to be intolerant and the will of god is for officials to push their particular churches tenets.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Many of us who stand against gay marriage are not doing so with any animus toward homosexuals at all. We just believe in maintaining the traditional marriage boudaries that have been established over the centuries! What makes these gay activists believe that they have it better figured out than the whole of humanity has over the centuries?

mom_of_three 6 years, 7 months ago

lots of things were established over the centuries which no longer exist - slavery was a century long tradition which ended, women couldn't vote for years, but that was changed when it was figured out how wrong it was, interracial marriage used to be outlawed as immoral and that was changed. took native americans several centuries to be recognized as citizens of the country they lived in, but that was changed.
Lots of people were banned from voting and being citizens for hundreds of years because it was traditional, but yet, we finally evolved and updated.

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

Well, in Biblical times, patriarchs had multiple wives.

Is that the "traditional" pattern you'd advocate?

And, given the absurd and shameful statistics on infidelity among married heterosexuals, I'd say we're not doing such a bang-up job.

Give the gay folks a chance - they could hardly do worse.

Divorce rates are also quite high as well.

What difference does it make to you if a gay couple marries? Given the right's general view that monogamy and marriage are good things, and benefit society, I'd think they'd be in favor of those.

nekansan 6 years, 7 months ago

"No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Ironically, not having a domestic partner registration may do more to legalize gay marriage than having one. Without it, an easy argument can be made that same sex couples are being denied equal protection under the law in violation of the 14th amendment. Without the protection that marriage includes with respect to inheritance, insurance, etc, same sex couples are being treated differently under the law than opposite sex couples.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Only some liberal judge who does not read or understand the Constitution could come up with such an interpretation. Sadly, there are some of those type of judges running around and that is why it is so important that Mr. Obama be a one-term President!

Enlightenment 6 years, 7 months ago

It's so interesting how the super conservatives are so afraid of same sex partnerships and gay marriage. It wouldn't be a problem if the "one man and one woman" marriages would quit having gay babies ; ).

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Sorry--but "gay" is only another word for a certain type of a sin--and all babies who are born are conceived in "sin"! We are all born sinners and will suffer the punishment for our sins at the Judgement of God unless we repent of our Sins and ask Christ to forgive us of those sins i. e. have our sins washed in the blood. Only God can changed the human heart and he can help anyone to change from any kind of personal sin.

Getaroom 6 years, 7 months ago

well consumer1, the current mayor is a male, so what is it you would like him to say that you have yet to hear?

meggers 6 years, 7 months ago

"I'm afraid I'm too old for this," Bunten said.

Sounds like a personal problem. Perhaps he should consider retirement.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm proud of him for standing up for what is right in this case.

Armored_One 6 years, 7 months ago

There are times when all you can do is just hang your head, chuckle and press on with life.

Anyone else getting the vague impression that this is an attempt to turn the US into a province of the Vatican? Look at the policies that are true hot topics and the Vatican's stances, then at the legislation that is passed...

There IS a bit of a trend there, or am I just seeing it because I want to?

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

I see us a morally adrift and moving away from morality and Godliness. Certainly not becoming a little version of the vatican...

oldvet 6 years, 7 months ago

Can't they register at Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond... ?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 7 months ago

There was a point at which I thought the subject of gay marriage was a total non issue Get married, sure, I don't care one way or another.

But then, I became acquainted with two men that had been legally married in Iowa. They made a big deal out of it, and just had to tell everybody all about it, including people who were not at all interested in their personal lives. They always introduced each other to other people as "my partner". They just had to let everybody know.

But after knowing one of them for a while, something became obvious to me, but apparently not to his "partner". He was having sex with literally dozens of men, so by now, there about 100 men involved in that "marriage", and the other man does not seem to be aware of it. Not that I know of anyway. But then, I never directly asked him.

But, maybe it's all in my head, and when two men get married, there is no "forsaking all others" clause, as there is in heterosexual marriages.

But, is that really a "marriage"?

In any case, I got sick of all that deception, among other things, and now I have no contact with either of them.

Bob Forer 6 years, 7 months ago

I used to represent a lot of divorce clients. All of them invited friends and family to observe them vow to their partner to remain true to each other for life. Many of them broke that vow. I didn't like many of them. I have not seen them since their divorces were finalized, nor do I care to.

P.S. they were all heterosexuals.

What's your point, Ron?. Statistically, it is said that half of all married people cheat during the course of their marriage. Gay folks do not have a monopoly on adultery.

For that one couple you cite, I can cite probably 300 straight couples.

What's your point?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 7 months ago

You knew 300 straight couples that had 100 affairs each? That means that about 30,000 people would have been involved, if there were no repeats. The population of Lawrence is only about 100,000, but many are under 18. So the conclusion would have to be, again if there were no repeats, and they were all in Lawrence, that way over half of married couples in Lawrence are cheating on each other.

But you did say, "half of all married people cheat during the course of their marriage."

But, with 3 or 4 partners, 3 or 4 times a month, in addition to a few more that were at home when the partner was not at home? A few, say, less than 10 affairs during the course of a marriage I wouldn't think much of, actually.

But, there were a few things I that I didn't mention at all.

One of them was that I was expected to assist in keeping the affairs secret from the other partner. Usually people keep these things secret from just about everyone. This cheating spouse was quite proud of his "scorecard".

Another was my frustration at how the cheating one was so hypocritical about everything. He had different crowds of people believing different things about him, or at least he thought he did.

Yet one more was that the cheating one was scamming me out of a lot of things, time, effort, costs, and expecting this to go on forever. I literally couldn't afford to do it anymore.

All of that contributed to my decision to end my relationship with him. As for the one that was being cheated on, I really don't have anything against him, but he's never made any attempt to contact me since, so it's obvious that we we never very good friends in the first place.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 7 months ago

PS: I left one thing out. The 100 partners outside of the "marriage" all occurred in the first 18 months of "marriage".

Joseph Jarvis 6 years, 7 months ago

@RonHolzwarth: You do realize you're using your bad experience with one gay man to generalize about all LGBT people, right? We're not all the same.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 7 months ago

But, back to your original question: "What's your point?"

I just simply don't understand it. At one time I fully expected to be getting married, and had absolutely no intention of ever cheating. And, I am quite sure that I never would have, because I know how devastating that can be, from personal experience with it when I was rather young.

Being quite young, I could not relate to what had happened. And, I was not aware at the time of any support groups for young people whose parents were having that type of problems. Those things leave lasting impressions on the children that are involved.

And then years later, in January 1986, I became involved in a horrific event that left me totally mistrusting of a close relationship with any woman, so my days of having a relationship of any type other than friendship are long over.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

sounds like this case proves exactly what I am saying it makes a mockery of marriage!

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

As does infidelity among heterosexuals, which is rather frequent.

What do you propose to do about that? Or is it just gay couples that you feel you have the right to deny marriage to?

How about anybody who's ever been unfaithful to their spouse isn't allowed to marry any longer, and must immediately divorce?

And, they can't marry again, either.

hipgrrrrl 6 years, 7 months ago

"There is a lot of power behind symbolic moves," he said. "In this case, it could show that Topeka is both an open and tolerant society for those who aren't considered the majority."

Apparently, since the Mayor of Topeka was elected by the majority, it might not be so much of an " and tolerant society..." as Gray would hope.

jayhawkinsf 6 years, 7 months ago

Kim Kardashian gets married but letting gays marry would ruin the sanctity of marriage.
No one is saying churches must marry people. But if city hall is issuing the license, then they should be doing it in a way that does not discriminate. It's as simple as that.

Lawrence_Pilot 6 years, 7 months ago

It's TOPEKA! What do you expect from the home of Fred Phelps? Seriously: I'm impressed they are even considering a registry.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

The law has traditionally treated marriage between a man and a woman in a special way. We affirm that this instituion of the family is the linch-pin of what builds society and it is the mechanism for the upbringing and socialization of children. We protect both women and children through traditional marriage and family. Any policy--like the one suggested here--that would undermine family values should be cast aside as a relic of the late-sixties sexual revolution that has turned out to be such a disaster for our nation!

mom_of_three 6 years, 7 months ago

so hetero divorces do not undermine family values? cheating spouses doesn't undermine family values? There are SO many things that undermine family values, but you want to pin it on the possibility of gay marriage.

protect children through traditional marriage? If my parents had stayed married, I don't even want to think how scarred i would be by witnessing their disaster.
And it didn't affect my ability to be happily married - over 20 years thank you very much.

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

A happy marriage/family is a wonderful thing.

Not all of them are happy, of course.

People in bad marriages should have the ability to end them, in my view, if that seems to be the best course of action for them.

Children are better served by a divorced couple that can work together to raise the children amicably than by a bitter, angry couple that fights a lot (in front of the kids) and stays married.

beatrice 6 years, 7 months ago

"I'm afraid I'm too old for this," Bunten said. "What I see happening all throughout this city and across this country is a minimizing of the need for a man and a woman to have a family. You don't have to do that anymore. It's accepted, and I think that's the wrong road to go down."

So don't go down that road if you choose not too! See how easy that is.

However, the desire of too many to want to set up a roadblock to prevent others from going down that road and live the life they choose for themselves is sad. As meggers said already, if an elected official declares that he / she is too old to deal with the issues of the day, then that person should retire immediately.

beatrice 6 years, 7 months ago

And if you close your eyes and tap your heels three times, it just may come true!

Or not.

By end of an error, do you mean Justice Roberts will properly swear in President Obama this time around?

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

We should reject these types of "registries" and continue to support and uphold traditional marriage between a man and a woman. The adoption of these "alternative lifestyle" approaches undermines marriage and society as a whole. It devalues the sacredness of marriage and further erodes our moral foundations!

jafs 6 years, 7 months ago

I always wonder what "tradition" people are referring to.

Is it the Biblical tradition of patriarchs with multiple wives?

The tradition in this country that wives were the property of their husbands, unable to vote or own property themselves?

Perhaps the tradition that domestic violence was simply ignored, and men were able to beat their wives without any consequences?

Or maybe it's the long tradition of heterosexual infidelity in marriage?

ivalueamerica 6 years, 7 months ago

Traditional marriages were arranged

Traditional marriages were a civil matter until the 14th Century.

Traditional marriages allowed girls as young as 8 to marry

Traditional marriages allowed men to beat their wives

Traditional marriages allows for multiple wives.

Traditional marriage prohibited interracial marriage

Traditional marriage ends up with over a 50% divorce rate

Traditional marriage include Kim Kardashian and Brittany Spears.

I guess those values are mighty important to the Christian far right

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