Lawrence, Kansas Approves Domestic Partnerships

On Tuesday night, commissioners in Lawrence, Kansas made it the first city in the state to approve a domestic partnership registry. (video)

Lawrencekansas_2According to Lawrence Journal-World & News, “The registry will require both partners to be 18 years or older and “live together in a relationship of indefinite duration with a mutual commitment in which the partners share the necessities of life and are financially interdependent.” A registration fee, which hasn’t been set, will be charged to cover the administrative costs of the program. Supporters of the registry, which was proposed by members of the Kansas Equality Coalition, have said some companies offer health insurance benefits to domestic partners of employees, but the companies require some proof of the relationship. A registry run by the city could fill that requirement, they say.”

The measure passed by a 4-1 vote. Said Commissioner Boog Highberger: “I think this is really something more appropriate for the state to take care of. But the state has failed us on this issue, and the federal government has failed us. If we are to have the type of city and type of life we want, we have to deal with this.”

Supporters speaking at the hour-long hearing before the vote outnumbered opponents by 15 to 4.

Adds the paper: “Opponents of the registry expressed concerns that the city was being irresponsible by not requiring gay couples to submit to an HIV test, and that the city was harming the institution of marriage by promoting homosexuality. Others said they feared the registry was just the first step by activists to push for special rights for gay individuals.”

Left-leaning Lawrence is a city of approximately 80,000 and is home to the University of Kansas.

Domestic registry approved [lawrence journal]