Monday, May 21, 2007

Kansas: Lawrence takes up the domestic partner registry tomorrow

By Diane Silver

Tomorrow is the day and Lawrence City Hall is the place to be. The City Commission will take up the proposed domestic partner registry at its regular Tuesday night meeting. Public comments will be heard and the first of two required votes is expected.

When the local chapter of the Kansas Equality Coalition first brought the registry before the commission in January, supporters had the stage to themselves. I doubt very much if that will happen again on Tuesday. Opponents may well be out in force.

If you support the registry, please attend. You don't have to testify. Your polite and quiet presence will make a difference. The Equality Coalition plans to have stickers for registry supporters to wear to identify themselves.

If you do plan to testify, please keep it short. Don't repeat what someone else has said even if that person made the point you want to make. Just say you agree with the previous speaker. Above all be polite. Be nice! Neither the City Commission nor the staff are our enemies.

If the commission takes on other issues after dealing with the registry, leave the Commission Meeting Room quietly. Also be aware that when we're talking in the City Hall lobby, our conversations can be heard in the meeting room. To discuss, debate, celebrate or agonize over the events in the meeting, our best bet is to talk on the sidewalk outside of City Hall.

City staff have outlined possible ways to implement the registry and reported on the experiences of other cities.

Attorney General Paul Morrison's opinion that the registry is constitutional is also available online.

The City Commission meeting is in the City Commission Meeting Room, First Floor, City Hall, 6 East 6th Street. The meetings adjourn at 10:30 p.m. unless extended by the Commission.

You can still contact City Commissioners to politely urge them to vote yes on the registry.

Here are some of my earlier thoughts on the registry:

Why I support a domestic partner registry

Just the Facts: Domestic Partner Registries stretch across the U.S. & present few problems

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