Thursday, February 15, 2007

Kansas: Future of proposed ban on domestic partner registries is uncertain

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the chair of a legislative committee isn't certain about what he wants to do with a bill that would stop Lawrence from passing a domestic partner registry.

The key issue for House Federal and State Affairs Committee Chairman Arlen Siegfried, R-Olathe, isn't domestic partnerships, but the home rule authority of local governments. The newspaper reports:
House Bill 2299 would prevent any city or county from establishing a domestic partner registry that “recognizes any domestic partnership not recognized under state law.”

Siegfried said the critical question was whether the home rule authority of cities allowed the establishment of local domestic partnership registries.

“It’s not so much a gay marriage and domestic partnerships issue to me as it is a home rule issue,” he said. “I have some studying to do on home rule issues.”

Siegfried said if he decides that the committee should work on the bill, it will be scheduled for the week after next.


Stephen said...

Do you think Siegfried is worried about something similar to Wyandotte county allowing Sunday liquor sales a few years back? That turned into a revolt of sorts against the state's power to regulate cities' businesses.

I wonder, too, if y'all in Lawrence had that in mind when setting this thing up; forcing a showdown over the state's power again. It's a good move.

I found you guys through DailyKos. I'm terrible at trackbacks and such, but I did write a post with a link here and will certainly blogroll you and start reading you regularly. It's good stuff; keep it up.

Diane Silver said...

Honestly, I think the reason the Lawrence Chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition pushed for a registry is nothing more exotic than the fact that it is needed. People are being hurt without it.

The issue of home rule is huge, though. It's what makes Kinzer's bill so horrible. As the chairman said, the true impact of Kinzer's bill goes much farther than being just one more of the continuing attacks on citizens like me. By jumping in, perhaps without thinking, Kinzer has created a much larger issue that involves every local government in Kansas. that was not a very smart move at all.

Thanks so much for posting, for finding us and for the links!

Diane Silver said...

I just reread my comment, and wanted to revise it a bit.

What I meant to say is that the home rule issue makes the bill horrible even for anti-gay lawmakers. Obviously, it is terrible for those of us in the lgbt community. The bill is mean spirited and meant to harm law abiding citizens of the state.

Stephen said...

Wingnut politicians, once they ram "defense of marriage" bills through state legislatures, find themselves forced to satisfy their base's ever-increasing need for something to be done about homosexuality.

Kinzer probably figured that abusing the LGBT community is always a political winner and introduced this bill to score points. Who knows, maybe he's even a true believer, thinking that homosexuals are not real people with rights.

It'll be nice when people like him are marginalized the way they should be.

Diane Silver said...

People like Kinzer will be marginalized when people like us and our friends and relatives organize to oust them. The good news is that is already happening. We do have the power. As one Johnson County race showed where Rep. Gene Rardin won by 2 votes, every voter makes a difference.

Up to this point, though, we've let them intimidate us. I see those days ending.