Here's the Kansas Equality Coalition's response to Morrison's opinion. This includes quotes from both the state and Lawrence Chapter.
This release was just sent out statewide.
The Kansas Equality Coalition welcomes Attorney General Paul Morrison’s opinion that today declared a domestic partner registry constitutional.-------
“We’re pleased the attorney general recognized the basic fairness and constitutionality of domestic partner registries,” said Thomas Witt, chair of the statewide organization. “We’ve been confident from the beginning that the law is on our side.”
The attorney general’s opinion declares cities like Lawrence, through their power of home rule, may establish domestic partnership registries benefiting residents businesses. When enacted, the registry will be open to both same-sex and heterosexual couples in the city.
“We’re excited to finally have a chance to move forward,” said Maggie Childs, chair of the Lawrence Chapter of the Equality Coalition. “We’re not surprised by Morrison’s opinion because we know the domestic partnership registry is constitutional.
“A domestic partner registry is fair. It’s right for people. It’s right for businesses. Many already offer domestic partner benefits, but require proof in the form of registration.”
A registry will help couples take advantage of health insurance and other benefits that an increasing number of employers provide. Companies offering such domestic partner benefits include Walgreens, Target, Sprint, Home Depot and AT&T.
Among the many Midwestern cities that already have registries are Kansas City, Mo.; Iowa City, Iowa; St. Louis, Mo.; Madison and Milwaukee, Wis.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Oak Park, Ill.; and Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
The Equality Coalition is a non-partisan group with chapters based in Johnson County, Lawrence, Manhattan, Topeka, Wichita, Salina and Dodge City. The group’s mission is to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
In the name of transparency, I work with the Kansas Equality Coalition and drafted this release. This is the final, approved version, which was just distributed around the state.